Suffering from personal injury is always stressful. Not only do you have to deal with the immediate aftermath of the accident, but you also have to figure out how to get your life back in order. This can entail anything from taking time off work to recover, finding a mental health professional to help you ease any pain and suffering you have been experiencing as a result of the accident, and more. It can feel like a totally overwhelming and isolating experience.
Slip and fall injuries are one of the most common types of personal injury there is. It is so prevalent, in fact, that the National Safety Council (NSC) counts them among the top three leading causes of preventable injury-related death. Along with poisoning and motor vehicles, falls makeup over 82 percent of all preventable deaths. Clearly, this is something you should take seriously.
Yet many people suffer from common misconceptions about victims of slip and fall accidents. They may claim that they are exaggerating their injuries for compensation, and that slip and fall injuries are never really that serious. In reality, fall-related injuries make up over 30 percent of all preventable and non-fatal emergency department visits.
If you or a loved one have recently suffered from a slip and fall accident, you may be wondering what to do next. You probably have a million different questions running through your head, like: Am I eligible to file a slip and fall claim? What is the difference between an indoor and an outdoor slip and fall claims? Is there any difference at all? Luckily, you do not have to go through this process alone. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of all these questions.
Slip and fall claims, like all personal injury claims, are generally based on a negligence and premises liability theory. In other words, you can only file a slip and fall claim if your accident was someone else’s fault. If you are filing a slip and fall claim, it is probably because the property owner failed to maintain the safety of the visitors on the premises. This may mean they failed to put up a sign warning passersby’s about slippery floors or it could mean something more. It all depends on your specific case.
Obviously, the first qualifying factor of an indoor slip and fall claim is that it happens indoors. However, there are other potential factors that may come into play while dealing with such a case. For example, you may want to consider the following: carpeting, elevators, escalators, floors, and stairs. How so, exactly? Let’s get into detail on each one.
Elevators and escalators are frequent contributors to indoor slip and fall claims, especially when they are not kept in proper working conditions. They should also be kept free from debris, which could potentially cause someone to fall.
Similarly, floors should also be kept free of debris and any other potential obstacles or spills. This is true no matter what type of property you are on, but it is especially important when dealing with businesses with frequent customers. Carpeting faces similar issues, particularly when it becomes worn or otherwise damaged. Any holes in the carpeting should be repaired immediately, should they cause someone to fall and injure themselves.
Finally, interior stairways should also be kept safe and well-maintained, for both able-bodied and disabled customers alike. This means they should be implemented with handrails and warning signs whenever necessary. Disabled customers should also have alternate points of entry available to them.
Whether or not your slip and fall accident occurs indoors or outdoors, it still has the potential to be totally devastating. The contributing factors, however, do tend to be rather different between indoor and outdoor claims. For outdoor slip and fall claims, you should be aware of weather conditions, parking lots, sidewalks, and poor lighting.
Parking lots and outdoor parking structures are both common sites of slip and fall accidents. This is because cars have a tendency to leave oil and grease behind. With so many vehicles passing through a parking structure or lot every day, it is no wonder that the oil and grease can accumulate enough to turn into a hazard. You should always remember to watch your step.
Parking lots may also be subject to poor lighting—although this may be true for any outdoor area. This includes entrances, stairs, outdoor walkways, and more. It is incredibly important for you to remain vigilant of your surroundings, particularly when you are dealing with poor lighting conditions. All of these above factors may also be worsened by adverse weather conditions. In the state of Colorado, it is not uncommon for us to be subjected to rain, sleet, snow, or hail. Know where you are going, and have a strategy. Do not be caught off-guard.
You may be wondering just what sidewalks have to do with slip and fall claims. Is it possible to hold a property owner liable for something like that? In short, yes. If there are cracked, uneven, or otherwise poorly maintained sidewalks within the borders of the property, the property owner is legally obligated to repair them and keep all visitors safe.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this only applies if the sidewalks are actually within the property bounds. It can be difficult sometimes to demarcate whether a sidewalk is a public or private property. In such cases, a court will determine whether or not the site of your injury is privately owned. A trusted slip and fall lawyer can also help.
No matter what kind of accident you have recently suffered, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. You should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide slip and fall injury attorneys. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you are rightfully owed. We have helped countless clients resolve their slip and fall cases successfully. We can help you too.