A Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer can tell you these accidents can have devastating consequences. Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common injuries, accounting for nearly three million emergency department visits a year. About 1 in 5 falls results in serious injury, such as a traumatic fracture or head trauma. As a result, falls are also one of the top twenty expensive medical conditions with an average hospitalization cost of approximately $30,000.
The circumstances surrounding your slip and fall accident will be unique to your situation, which can lead a lot of people to feel frustrated not knowing if they can file a claim or receive compensation. These accidents can happen almost anywhere including slipping on a puddle in a hotel lobby or tripping over uneven pavement outside of a hospital. However, there are many common questions after a slip and fall accident that can help you determine the best steps for filing a claim and what you should do immediately following the accident.
It is extremely common to come across certain signs in department stores, at restaurants, or even the produce aisles of your groceries stores. “Caution: Wet Floor” or “Warning: Slippery When Wet” are signs many stores have on display. These signs can be incredibly helpful to people who would not otherwise notice a puddle of liquid or a patch of ice that can cause serious damage. However, not all dangerous areas like these are marked, and when they are left for the pedestrian to notice on their own, many people become the victim of a slip and fall accident. These types of accidents can be extremely dangerous. You may think you are left with a simple bruise on your hip or a small cut on your hand, but a doctor should properly check out any type of injury sustained after a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. Below, we have common questions regarding slip and fall accidents and the best next steps after the accident has occurred. If you would like to speak with a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer today, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC now!
Was It My Fault?
This will, of course, depend on the circumstances revolving around the slip and fall accident. If there was appropriate signage to warn you to stay away from the dangerous area until management properly assessed and fixed it but you chose to put yourself in danger anyway, you might not have a claim to make. However, if there was no warning about the dangerous area and your accident injured you, it likely was not your fault.
What Commonly Causes Slip And Fall Accidents?
There are many causes of slip and fall accidents. Some of the most common are:
A serious medical event with significant medical costs requires a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer who can obtain the best possible compensation for your injuries.
Brent Wieand, Esq, a slip and fall lawyer with the Wieand Law Firm LLC, cites several common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents:
Hip fractures – Over 90 percent of hip fractures are due to a fall trauma. Considered extremely dangerous to the older adult, they are frequently fatal within a year. Hip fractures commonly result in nursing home placement in older adults – an expense that can be astronomical for long-term medical care.
Fractures or sprains – Legs, arms, wrists, ankles and other body parts can become compromised during a slip and fall accident. A slip and fall lawyer can help delineate demonstrate the full-scope of the injury to obtain compensation that truly reflects the cost of the injury. This may include medical and rehabilitation expenses as well as lost time from work.
Traumatic brain injuries/head trauma – Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have life changing consequences and require and extensive amount of medical and physical rehabilitation that occurs over months or years. Traumatic brain injuries can impact multiple functional areas, including cognitive function, motor function, sensation and emotion. The impact of these injuries may impact an individual’s ability to continue employment or even perform activities of daily living. A slip and fall injury lawyer can understand the significant and sometimes life-long impact of these injuries and seek just compensation.
To demonstrate that your slip and fall injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you will need to prove that the property owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition and failed to address it properly. You will need to demonstrate the reasonableness of the property owner’s action or inaction. For example, a reasonable property owner should have a routine standard of cleaning for floors. Additionally, a property owner who fails to address a broken step several months after notification may not be considered reasonable.
If the injured party’s actions contributed to the accident, they may be considered partially liable. As such, if the individual slipped on a wet floor while texting, personal carelessness may be a contributing factor of the accident. Situations like these may still be eligible for compensation, but the settlement or verdict may be reduced due to the partial responsibility of the injured party.
As a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer, we tell our clients all the time there are a few steps to take after your fall that are critical. Not only will they help ensure that you can heal from your injuries as soon as possible, but they can help you prepare for making a claim.
Step 1. Report It. If you are in stable condition, before you leave the property you should report the accident to the manager or supervisor of the property. If you do not report an accident, a manager will not know that there is (a) A dangerous area on their property or (b) That an accident even occurred. When you do speak with the manager, they should also write up some type of accident report. This is crucial when making a slip and fall claim.
Step 2. Document the Scene. This can be essential to your claim. Photographs of the accident scene can show that the slip and fall accident did not happen because of your own negligence. Instead, it happened because of something that was dangerous on the property that the owner failed to fix. Important things to note as you document the scene are:
Step 3. Get the Medical Help You Need. Regardless of how you feel immediately following your slip and fall accident, it is never a waste of time or money to have a medical professional examine your injuries or the bodily area on which you fell. You might have obvious injuries like a broken arm or hip or severe bruising. You might even have signs of a concussion. Or, your injuries might not present symptoms for a few hours or days. A head trauma does not always show immediate signs of damage.
Step 4. Get Witness Information. If there was anyone else at the scene of the accident who saw what happened, they can be a crucial part of your testimony. Before leaving (unless you medically need to), get the names and contact information of any witnesses. If there were witnesses to your accident, it is imperative that you get their names and contact information. Also, record what you were doing, what time your accident occurred, and what caused the accident to happen.
Step 5. Be Careful What You Say. Do not give statements to the property’s insurance company or even the manager. Let the manager know what happened, but discuss any details with your attorney.
Step 6. Contact a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyer. After your accident, you might not be sure of which steps to take legally. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall injury, it’s important that you have the support of an experienced slip and fall lawyer that Philadelphia counts on to pursue fair compensation for your physical injuries, pain, and suffering.
What Else Can I Do?
Getting help from a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyer is important after a slip and fall accident. An attorney can ensure that you have collected the necessary evidence for your claim and followed the appropriate steps to ensure your claim can go through properly. They can also determine if you are receiving a fair and proper settlement.
The Wieand Law Firm, LLC will take the time to listen to your individual situation and provide the expert advice you need to act. To speak with slip and fall lawyer Philadelphia trusts at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC call us today at 215-666-7777 to receive a free, no obligation consultation.