A slip and fall accident is a very common mishap, but it could lead to a severe injury. Every year in the United States, more than 8 million slip and fall accidents send people to the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The average cost to treat slip and fall injuries is $30,000 to $40,000. That cost usually goes even higher if a head injury is involved.
A property owner has a duty of care to maintain their premises and keep it in a reasonably safe condition. If you go to a store and a spill on the floor causes you to slip and fall, that store could be liable for your injuries.
Whenever you suffer a slip and fall accident, the extent of the injuries might not be readily apparent. Some injuries can take several hours or even days to appear. Even if you feel relatively well, a seemingly minor injury, such as a bump on the head, might become more pronounced and lead to a more serious medical condition. Only immediate medical care could prevent a severe injury from becoming a deadly one.
When a senior citizen falls, they are more likely to suffer a significant injury. Even young adults could suffer a permanent disability from a slip and fall accident. Soft tissue injuries might mask the pain and shock that could mislead you into thinking you are okay.
Proving that the slip and fall accident caused your injury requires you to obtain a professional medical diagnosis as soon as possible. Any delay between the time of the accident and the diagnosis of the injury could be used against you by an insurer or opposing lawyer.
Documenting Slip and Fall Injuries
When you suffer injuries from a slip and fall accident, obtaining medical attention right away shows that you are making a reasonable effort to mitigate your injuries. Instead of waiting several hours or even days to see a doctor while your condition worsens, going to a medical professional right away shows you are taking reasonable steps to reduce the extent of your injuries. When you can show that you took reasonable steps to treat injuries and begin the healing process as soon as possible, you have a better chance of getting a reasonable settlement to cover the costs of your injuries.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
The sudden slipping of one or both legs could cause you to suffer a pulled or torn muscle, hamstring, or other soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries are not always immediately apparent and can produce a lot of pain that might make it impossible for you to work.
A head injury is another commonly suffered injury that could become deadly if it is left unattended. A minor head injury might cause some bruising or swelling. A more serious head injury could cause a concussion. Traumatic brain injuries are especially difficult to diagnose and could affect virtually any part of your body.
Many people suffer broken bones when they slip and fall because they try to brace their fall and land on their wrist. You also might cut yourself when you fall. Scrapes and abrasions are common slip and fall injuries that could lead to infection.
Conditions That Make Slips and Falls More Likely
Weather is a top cause of slip and fall accidents. Property owners are required to reasonably maintain walkways to prevent accidents from occurring. If a property owner does not remove snow or take reasonable steps to protect pedestrians from slipping on icy walkways, they could be liable for resulting injuries.
While wet or icy surfaces could cause a slip and fall accident, some other conditions that commonly cause slip and fall injuries include:
- Paper, trash, and other debris
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Unsafe, messy work areas
- Poor lighting
How Does Comparative Negligence Come into Play?
Many states, including Pennsylvania, apply comparative negligence. If a court finds that you are even 10 percent at fault for causing your injuries, then you could have your settlement reduced by that same percentage. If you are more than 50 percent liability for the accident, you are barred from recovery.
It is very important to abide by caution signs. For example, if a customer breaks an item in a grocery store, the staff must place a caution sign next to the spillage. As long as the staff is working to clean up the spill quickly and reasonably, they are protected against liability. If a customer ignores the sign and steps onto the wet floor and then slips and falls, the customer might be deemed negligent and responsible for the costs of damages.
Even the manner in which you obtain medical treatment can affect your potential settlement. If you do not get medical attention right away, it might be construed as negligence. Failing to mitigate your injuries could lessen your total compensation award.
Kensington Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC Help Clients With Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you need to get medical assistance as soon as possible. Our Kensington slip and fall accident lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC can help you hold the negligent property owner accountable for their actions. Call us at 267-225-0770 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Northeast Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including Kensington, Tacony, Torresdale, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Allegheny, and Olney, Pennsylvania.