What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of injury for all Americans as young as 24 years.
- Injuries from slip and fall accidents could affect your ability to work, earn income and enjoy life.
- Slip and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims for people aged 55 and older.
- When they occur on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation.
Imagine you are in line at the pharmacy when you notice the janitorial staff has just finished mopping. An elderly man with a cane leaves the line in front of you and walks directly toward the wet floor. With no cautionary sign to be seen, you shout to alert him, but it is too late. He slips on the wet floor, lands hard on his hip and lets out a loud cry of pain.
Slip and fall injuries result in visits to the emergency room or worse. Each year, more than 800,000 people are hospitalized as the result of a fall. Many of these injuries are the responsibility of the property owner and can result in litigation.
If you don’t think you’re likely to be affected if you are injured in a fall, think again. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):
- At least one million Americans are injured in a slip and fall accident annually
- Over 17,000 people in the U.S. suffer fatal slip and fall injuries each year
- When it comes to job related injuries, 15% are made up of slip and fall injuries
- 20 to 30% of people who suffer a slip and fall accident will incur moderate to severe injuries, ranging from bruising to bone fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are often caused by slip and fall accidents
Those injured in slip and fall accidents often are forced to miss work and lose wages. In fact, slip and fall accidents are the primary cause of missed work with many injured employees missing an average of 11 days. In addition:
- Compensation for employees who suffer slip and fall accidents accounts for up to $70 billion annually
- Up to $34 billion is spent each year in medical bills as the result of slip and fall injuries
Common Locations and Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
People could slip and fall on wet or icy surfaces, standing water, uneven or ill-kept floors or surfaces and loose wires or extension cords. Environmental conditions can also cause slip and fall cases in Indiana, such as inadequate or low lighting, inadequate or negligent security measures and falling merchandise. Slip and fall accident injuries can happen anywhere, but some of the most common locations include:
- Grocery stores
- Nursing homes
- Office buildings
- Parking lots
- Outdoor spaces and parks
- Stairwells, ramps, escalators and elevators
- Stores and shopping malls
What Age Has To Do With Slip and Fall Risk
When it comes to the risk of falling, seniority doesn’t always have its privilege. Each year, over one third of seniors will suffer a fall. While slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of injury for all Americans over the age of 24, the CDC estimates almost 1,800 elderly Americans suffer fatal slip and falls in nursing homes annually.
When Your Accident is Someone Else’s Responsibility
Imagine you’re on the way to the grocery and you slip and fall in your own driveway on snow. While unfortunate, the fault in this accident lies with you. You can blame Mother Nature, but you can’t seek compensation from her. When you get to the store, slip on a large snow-melt puddle inside the entrance, fall and injure yourself, then the blame may lie with the store owner. When navigating slip and fall cases in Indiana, it is important to understand and establish several key elements, including premises liability and the concept of notice.
Premises Liability in Indiana
When a property owner is responsible for any personal injury that occurs on their property, it is called premises liability. The liability extends differently depending on who sustains the injury and why they are on the property. It is also important to note whether the property owner has provided notice of the dangerous conditions to others.
To prove the property owner or another party is liable for your damages, slip and fall accident lawyers must prove they are negligent and that negligence led to your accident. For example:
- A dangerous or hazardous condition existed on the property
- The owner knew or the owner should have known about the condition
- The owner did nothing to correct, prevent or warn others about the condition
- The dangerous conditions directly caused your fall
- You were injured in the fall and as a result, you have suffered damages.
What to Do If You Are Injured From a Slip and Fall
- If you sustain an injury or believe you could have, seek medical attention immediately.
- Gather evidence about your accident, such as the location, time and how it happened. Make notes or take photographs to document conditions relating to lighting, floor surface, debris and any other factors that contributed to your fall.
- Ask witnesses for their contact information and get statements.
- Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer you can trust.
A person who sustains a slip and fall injury can incur high medical expenses, lost wages and emotional trauma. If your injury is the result of a property owner’s negligence, you need to be compensated appropriately.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.
|Hi, I’m Rich Bucheri from Poynter and Bucheri. And today I want to talk to you about three things to do if you’re injured in a big box store or a grocery store. With everything that’s going on right now, it seems like most of us are doing our shopping at the big box stores or at the grocery store and that’s pretty much it. And when you go into these stores, it can be very chaotic. They’re doing inventory at the same time that people are shopping. And so we’ve got stuff in the middle of the isles and that can create some dangerous situations; trip hazards, broken bottles can have liquid that we can slip and fall on. So we need to really, really be careful and be looking out for any type of potential dangers as we’re going and doing our shopping. But if you do get injured, there are three things that I want you to keep in mind because it can help protect your rights later on down the road if you do have to have a claim.
|The first thing that you want to do is you want to identify the cause of your fall. That’s very, very, very important. And so when we’re talking about identifying the cause of the fall, what was the specific thing that actually caused you to fall or actually caused you to be hurt? Was it liquid on the floor? Was there a defect on the floor? Did something fall down and hit you? We need to know what that is because in order to be able to have a successful claim against a big box store or a grocery store, you have to show that they did something that was negligent. And in order to do that, you have to know how you were hurt in the first place. It’s very important to identify, if you can, what happened and what caused you to be injured. And if you can take a picture of that or somebody that’s with you can take a picture of that, that’s even better.
|The second thing that you want to do is to notify a manager about your fall. And the reason that you do that as first and foremost so that something can be done to clean it up so that nobody else gets hurt, but also so that you have some documentation that this in fact did occur. And if there is any evidence that it can be preserved, whether it’s a videotape or the names of the people that were in the area that might’ve seen you fall. And so it’s super important to notify the manager. Sometimes they’ll want to take a statement from you or they’ll have you fill out some type of report. That’s perfectly fine, but just make sure that when you fill that report out, you’re indicating the specific cause of your fall.
|And then finally, the third thing is you should always get medical treatment if you feel like you’re hurt. Even if you don’t know if you’re hurt or not, it’s not a bad idea to get checked out either at the ER or the urgent care. But certainly if you’re feeling pain, then go ahead and go to the doctor and have them check you out. And the reason for that is twofold. One, you want to get better, identify any injuries right away so that you can get the proper treatment. But then two, if you don’t go to the doctor, and this happens in every kind of case, but if you don’t go to the doctor, then the insurance company or the attorney for the big box store is going to say, well, you didn’t go to the doctor so you must not have been hurt. It doesn’t do you any favors at all to withhold medical treatment from yourself, so make sure that you go get checked out.
|If you are to get injured, it’s very important to try to do as many of these things as you possibly can. And then if you have any questions about your case, have questions about talking with the insurance company or the attorney for the other side, or just have a general question about whether you even have a claim or not, feel free to give me a call. I’m happy to talk to you and we can discuss it. Take a look at everything and figure out what the next step is. If you have any other questions or there’s anything else that I can do, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’ll be happy to discuss your case or you can reach out to us on our website. Thank you and stay healthy.