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  • Charlie Hunter

How to Claim and Recover Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

It can be easy to dismiss slip and fall accidents as minor occurrences. What many don’t know is that slips, trips and falls are quite prevalent and can be very serious when they occur. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slipping or falling accidents cause 15% of all accidental deaths. They are second only to motor vehicles as the leading cause of accidental fatalities. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also reports that over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury every year. It further reports that over 17, 000 people die in the US annually because of these injuries.

Even worse, slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries or damage will result in at least 46% of grave falls among older Americans.

If you have been injured in a slip, trip or fall accident caused by another’s negligence, you may have the right to sue. The law protects you from having to suffer harm due to the actions of another. You should not have to bear the cost of medical treatment and damage that occurs because someone else was not careful. You can claim compensation.

At Hayes Hunter PC, we are experienced in personal injury law, particularly slip and fall cases. We have helped many clients with cases just like yours to recover the compensation that they deserve. Reach out to us today to understand how best to go about your slip and fall accident claim.

Slips, Trips, and Falls Can Be Catastrophic

Slip and fall accidents can, and often do end up with fatal casualties. Apart from this, they can cause a range of severe injuries including head and back injuries, fractures and in the worst cases, paralysis.

The CDC estimates that just about 20% to 30% of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries. These injuries often consist in fractures that affect the functionality of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.

According to the CDC, slipping or falling accidents are so dangerous that they are the common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These are more common especially for older Americans.

Slip, trips, and falls accidents can result into other complications like:

  • Death

  • Incapacitation

  • Long-term medical complications

  • Head trauma

  • Spinal cord injuries

The results of these accidents can be extremely costly to victims and their loved ones.

What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?

A large number of slip and fall accidents occur in public places. These may be on work premises or other places like restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, or supermarkets.

Slipping most often occurs in places where the surface still wet or has some slippery substance on it. Falls on the other hand happen when your foot collides with an object. This may then cause you to lose the balance and fall. But there are also other common causes. Many of them are listed here:

  • Wet or oily surfaces

  • Leaks from materials

  • Debris left in walkways or corridors

  • Obstructed view

  • Irregular floor or working surfaces

  • Protruding nails, boards, or substances

  • Weather hazards

  • Loose rugs or mats

  • Holes or depressions in working surfaces

  • Poor lighting

  • Uncovered cables

What If You Tripped or Fell Due To The Negligence Of Another Person or Entity?

Majority of slipping, tripping, and falling accidents occur in public places. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most general industry incidents involve slips, trips, and falls. The OSHA has however set a standard that generally applies to all working or public place. This standard applies to all permanent places of employment, except where only domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed.

One of these set rules is that warning signs must be provided to indicate wet or slippery surfaces. This also includes that placement of signs at points of places where slip or fall hazards can occur.

What this means is that a business premises or company may be held accountable for any accidents that occur as a result of a failure to apply the required safety procedures. This duty of care or liability will also extend to maintenance of public walkways.

Can You File a Legal Action For a Slip and Fall Accident?

Yes. This is because the majority of slips and fall accidents are often due to failure to adhere to Health & Safety Regulations. As such, you can file a personal injury claim against the person or entity that caused the harm or indulged in behavior that led to the harm.

The success of your legal action will often depend on showing that the person or entity that caused you injury owed you a duty of care. Your case will also involve proof that this duty of care was breached through negligence, reckless or intentional misconduct. In other cases, it may the person or entity may be held strictly liable for your injury whether they were negligent or not.

As these reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show, you will most likely have a case for your slip, trip or fall accident:

In 2015, there were over 6,000 citations given to businesses for failing to meet requirements in fall protection standards.

Slips, trips, and falls made up 17 percent of all work-related fatal injuries.

Construction companies has the highest rate of both fatal and non-fatal slip, trip, and fall accidents. More than 40 percent of all workplace fall-related fatalities are in the construction industry.

What Can You Claim as Compensation?

Slips, trips and fall injuries make up about 20 percent of all job-related injuries. Slips, trips and fall accidents can cause bruises, broken bones and fractures. They may even be more serious and lead to incapacitation, long-term medical complications, head trauma, or spinal cord injuries. In quite a number of instances too, they have resulted into the death of the victim.

All these can have a number of financial consequences for the victim or their loved ones. The National Safety Council reports that “fall from the same level” ($7.94 billion) and “fall to lower level” ($5.35 billion) were the second and third highest causes of disabling workplace injuries in 2011. There doesn’t seem to be any change in these costs of slip and fall injuries.

After you’re involved in a slip, trip, or fall accident, you may claim compensation for:

  • Cost of medical treatment

  • Medication, ointments, unguents and prescription drugs

  • Cost of physical therapy

  • Cost of specialist appointment, such as chiropractors

  • Lost wages

  • Loss of earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

How Do You Go About Making a Claim?

The fact is that slip, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident. But, getting compensation for these kinds of accidents is not a walk in the park. The compensation you can get will largely depend on a few factors.

Important amongst these are the nature or gravity of injury you suffered and the fault of the other party. Thus, medical information about the injuries you sustained will go a long way in your action.

It is estimated that these injuries often result in an average of 11 days away from work. Your attorney would also look into whether you were absent or had to take a sick leave from work due to your slip, trip, or fall accident. Additionally, the costs you incurred due to the tripping or slipping accident will also be important towards determining how much you can claim.

Be sure to get in touch with an attorney immediately after the accident so that you can begin the whole process.

It is not an easy task to prove that slip or fall accidents were caused by the actions or default of another. With an expert attorney however, you get a better chance of securing fair compensation. Many times, having skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers that are there for you is all you need.

Book a free consultation with Hayes Hunter PC for further information about how to claim compensation for your slip and fall accident. You can also call us on (281) 768-4731 or email us at chunter@hayeshunterlaw.com.