A slip and fall is considered a minor accident by many insurance companies. However, a fall can result in traumatic injuries that prevent victims from returning to work or performing daily activities, resulting in major changes, inconvenience, and often pain for the victims of said accidents. When a fall occurs on another person’s property, the property owner may be held liable for the damages caused by the fall. Our Indianapolis slip and fall attorneys represent accident victims who have been injured by a slip and fall.
Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free consultation with one of our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys. Get the compensation you deserve because of a fall caused by the acts of a negligent property owner.
Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere. Indiana’s premises liability laws cover falls on public property, residential property, and commercial property. However, common locations for slip and fall accidents include:
- Parking lots and sidewalks
- Grocery stores, malls, restaurants, gas stations, and other retail locations
- Steps and stairs
- Pools and other recreational areas
- Hotels, motels, and resorts
- Stadiums and other sporting facilities
- Residential property
- Government buildings
- Construction areas
Why Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Too often slip and fall cases are portrayed as accidents that occur due to the clumsiness or age of the victim. While an individual is certainly capable of falling on their own accord, and older individuals tend to suffer more from them, a slip and fall injury case can happen to anyone, anywhere. When someone falls due to circumstances outside of their control--in other words, the liability of the accident lies with someone other than the victim--then they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries.
It is very important to identify the liable party or parties. In many cases, the property owner is liable for any injuries sustained on the property because of negligence. However, if the property is rented or leased, the tenant may be responsible. In some cases, multiple parties could be liable for the damages. By identifying each party that could be liable for a fall, our attorneys increase the chance that you will receive full compensation for your damages.
Slip and fall accidents may be caused by any of the following:
- Uneven or cracked flooring, sidewalk, or pavement
- Icy pavement or sidewalk
- Wet flooring or standing water
- Inadequate or low lighting
- Inadequate or negligent security
- Loose or uncovered wires or cables
- Cluttered, obstructive, or falling merchandise
- Improperly maintained machinery
- Improperly posted signage for ongoing or recent cleaning or repairs
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Common Slip and Fall Injuries
There are almost 20,000 unintentional falls that occur yearly in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. These falls can range from minor to severe in terms of the injuries they cause. Some of the most common injuries that result from a slip and fall are:
Concussions and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Both concussions and TBIs result in changes in brain function. The effects of a head injury such as a concussion or TBI vary from mild to more serious, depending on the nature of the accident. Symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, memory loss, and more.
Lacerations account for any tearing or breaking of the flesh, and can be the result of a slip and fall accident that occurs in a hazardous, unkept, or hard-surface area, or one that occurs where other objects are involved or disrupted.
Contusions, also known as bruises, are the result of blood collecting outside of a blood vessel (hematoma).
Spinal cord injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord can be quite serious, and can result in loss of motor function and other nervous system issues.
Slip and fall injuries commonly result in bone fractures in the hips, wrists, hands, arms, ankles, feet, and legs.
Sprains, Strains, and Tears
Sprains are the stretching or tearing of the ligament, whereas strains affect the muscle or tendon. Both can be quite painful and can result in rest, compression, pain medication, or even the use of crutches or a cane.
In the most severe cases, the victim can suffer paralysis, incapacitation, or death. These are devastating results for an accident that can be prevented by a well-maintained, properly attended property.
Fast Facts about Slip and Fall Injuries
- According to the Center for Disease Control, one of every five falls results in a serious injury.
- The CDC also estimates that up to 1,800 Americans residing in nursing homes suffer a fatal fall every year, with 3 million older Americans seeking emergency room treatment for falls each year.
- Falling causes more than 95% of hip fractures, with women accounting for the majority of hip fractures.
- The National Flooring Safety Institute has found that falls account for half of all accidental deaths in the home and cause up to 8 million emergency room visits annually.
- The National Safety Council data from 2016 shows that falls cause thousands of injuries in the workplace yearly, with construction jobs resulting in the most deaths followed by jobs in professional and business services, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. The profession with the least amount of workplace fatal falls was in education and health services; even then, there were 18 deaths and almost 44,000 injuries.
- Slip and falls were the second leading cause of workplace fatalities in 2013, and one in six of all accidents resulting in lost work (and wages) are the result of slip and falls.
- In 2017, slip and falls made up 14.5% of fatal occupational injuries in Indiana according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- In 2018, the number of slip, trip, and fall accidents in the retail trade that resulted in days away from work rose 11% from 2017.
- In 2018, the number of cases that resulted in days away from work due to occupational nonfatal injuries caused by slip, trip, and fall cases was at 240,160 in the private industry and 34,190 in the retail sector.
Indiana is a four season state, meaning that we experience every season to its full benefits as well as its disadvantage, which for slip and fall injuries can mean icy walkways in the winter, loose and blowing leaf and detritus in the fall, wet and rainy springs, and wet pool decks in the summer. Indianapolis slip and fall injury lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri are well-versed in premises liability and qualified to take on your case. Contact us to schedule your free case review today!
You can chat with a representative 24/7 online to get the help you need now! We want to help you hold the responsible party liable for your damages. By contacting our Indianapolis personal injury law firm now, we can begin taking the necessary steps to protect your right to be compensated for the damages caused by the fall.
How Much is My Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
Pursuant to Indiana’s premises liability laws, a victim may claim financial damages and noneconomic damages for a fall.
Financial damages include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency services, hospital stays, physicians, surgeries, medical equipment, physical therapy, counseling, etc.
- Loss of income, including loss of future income and decreased earning potential
- Ongoing medical and personal care for a permanent impairment or disability
- Other out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs, over the counter medications, help with household chores, and home modifications to accommodate an impairment
Noneconomic damages include:
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Development of phobias, such as of heights or of falling
- Loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium
It is very important to document all damages and losses carefully for a slip and fall accident. The PBAR legal team assists you in tracking expenses and documenting losses to increase your chance of recovering maximum compensation for your slip and fall claim.
We Specialize in Helping Slip and Fall Victims Like You!
Contact Poynter & Bucheri, LLC by calling 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free case consultation with an Indianapolis premises liability lawyer.
Ways to Avoid a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents are preventable, but their prevention is not always 100% up to you. However, there are some steps you can take to help prevent slip and fall injuries occurring to you and your loved ones:
- Don’t walk distracted! Too often we multitask while working, or walk and text/talk on the phone while shopping or running errands, allowing ourselves to be less focused about our surroundings and any dangers they might include.
- Wear proper footwear for the weather. If you plan to be walking after a winter snowstorm, choose footwear that provides you with proper traction. Tread wet and icy surfaces with care.
- Avoid dark stairwells or pathways when possible. Low lighting can contribute to slip and fall injuries as it can be difficult to find your footing in such situations.
- Be on the lookout for signs or cones. Public places will often place these when there are hazards, such as a wet floor. Walk in these areas with care!
- Hold handrails. If you are on the stairs or a ramp, handrails are there to help you keep your balance. Use them to your advantage!
- If you are suffering from imbalance or trouble walking, ask for help. Don’t allow yourself to suffer needlessly! Ask someone to help or guide you.
- Don’t run in crowded or cluttered locales. Using common sense can go a long way; it is much harder to keep your balance when there are unpredictable, moving obstacles in your way.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Taking general note of your surroundings can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including avoiding slips, trips, and falls.
Unfortunately, some conditions and situations are out of your control. If you or a loved one suffers a slip and fall injury, there are a number of steps you can take to help you get back on your feet.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
The steps you take immediately after a slip and fall accident can have a significant impact on your injury claim. An accident victim may not be able to do everything on this list. However, it is in a victim’s best interest to take as many of these steps as possible:
- Report the fall immediately. Request the owner, manager, or other person in authority to report the fall. Do not sign any waivers absolving them of guilt or offer any recorded statements.
- Take photographs and videos. The accident scene is likely to change after the fall because the owner will correct the hazardous or dangerous condition that caused your fall. If you cannot take pictures, you can ask someone to take them with your cell phone. Be sure to get both wide shots as well as close shots of the scene from as many angles as possible. You should also photograph any and all injuries you sustain.
- Ask for names and contact information for eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses provide excellent information about the condition of the property and how the fall occurred. However, some witnesses may leave after other people arrive, so try to get witness information quickly.
- Seek medical attention. You need to document your injuries for an accident claim. If you do not go to the emergency room, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. You could be suffering from a brain injury or other injury that you are not aware of until a complete examination by a medical professional is completed.
- Preserve clothing and shoes. Place everything you were wearing into a bag as evidence. The owner may claim what you were wearing contributed to the cause of your fall. Your attorney will need your clothes and shoes to challenge that defense.
- Do not discuss your fall with anyone. The only people you need to discuss your fall with at this time is your medical providers and your Indianapolis slip and fall attorney. Avoid posting on social media or discussing the fall with family and friends.
- Do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. You need to consult with an attorney before providing any statements or signing any medical releases related to the accident or your injuries. The insurance adjuster may pressure you to provide a statement. Call our law firm immediately to speak with an attorney.
- Follow medical advice and treatments. Be sure to follow through with your doctor’s prescribed treatment for any and all injuries sustained. Failing to do so may result in harm to your case.
- Consult an Indianapolis premises liability lawyer. The property owner may tell you that he is taking care of all your expenses, and he may be telling the truth. However, you need to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you are not forfeiting any of your legal rights.
You can chat with a representative 24/7 online to get the help you need now! We want to help you hold the responsible party liable for your damages. By contacting our Indianapolis personal injury law firm now, from the comfort of your home, we can begin taking the necessary steps to protect your right to be compensated for the damages caused by the fall and starting you on your journey to financial recovery.
Proving Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
To prove the property owner or another party is liable for your damages, we must prove the party was negligent and that negligence led to your accident.
In most premises liability cases, we must prove:
- 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 of the injuries, you have suffered damages.
Proving a premises liability claim can be difficult. At Poynter & Bucheri, LLC, we have the knowledge, experience, skills, and resources to handle any slip and fall claim. Don’t let your slip and fall injury be swept under the rug; you and your loved ones deserve to be compensated.
We Specialize in Helping Slip and Fall Victims Like You!
Contact Poynter & Bucheri, LLC by calling 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation with an Indianapolis premises liability lawyer.
Learn more about your legal rights and the compensation you deserve for a slip and fall injury by calling 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation and no-obligation case review.