Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
While there can be a number of factors that can causes a slip, trip or fall accident, in most instances there are three categories that most fall into.
The categories for slip and fall injuries include:
- Trip and fall accidents – foreign objects in the walking path
- Step and fall accidents – unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface
- Slip and fall accidents – wet or slick surfaces cause victim to lose footing
The injuries in a slip and fall case can be devastating. Many times, injuries suffered in a slip and fall accident can be more severe than those suffered in an auto accident. It is not uncommon for a fall to cause bone fractures or torn ligaments. Many times elderly persons suffer fractured hips in falls. When a person is injured in a slip and fall, the property owner may be liable if:
- He or she caused the unsafe condition, such as spilling liquid and not mopping it up
- He or she knew about the dangerous condition but did not take steps to correct it
- He or she should have known about the hazard because a reasonable person taking care of the property would have discovered and corrected the dangerous condition.
The actual liability of the potentially responsible individuals varies, depending on the rules and principles adopted in the jurisdiction where the mishap occurred.
What to do after an Injury
If you have fallen or been injured, you should first report your accident to the property owner. Gather names, addresses and the telephone numbers of any eyewitnesses. It is helpful to take pictures of where your injuries occurred before the property owner can fix the hazard. Your lawyer needs photos of the property conditions that caused you to fall.
It is also important for you to save all evidence related to the fall, including the shoes and clothing you wore, in case there are substances on them from the fall. In addition, photograph any injury immediately after the fall, and when there are any changes, such as swelling or bruising. Immediately seek medical treatment for all injuries and follow all doctors’ recommendations for treatment.
Keep copies of all of your medical bills (even those paid by insurance) and off-work slips. You may also want to keep a diary to record your thoughts about your medical treatment or the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Also, be sure to obtain a copy of any incident report written by the business where you fell, although you probably will not get this. Doing these things will help our office prepare your case.