“Slip and fall” is a term used in personal injury when a person slips, trips, or falls and is injured on someone else’s property.
Slip and fall accidents can be embarrassing because it’ll typically occur in a public setting or in the presence of others. Many slip-and-fall victims will often blame themselves for being “clumsy.” Don’t blame yourself. Many slip and fall accidents could’ve been avoided had the property owner simply remedied a condition or provided some warning of the condition.
Common Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip-and-fall accident always occurs suddenly and often without warning. Naturally, the slipping/falling person will immediately and quickly react to try to balance or catch themselves. This natural reaction often causes the person to violently jerk to maintain balance thereby injuring themselves more. Also, the person will often be falling with outstretched arms to soften their fall. This puts the person in a more vulnerable position and can lead to serious injuries requiring immediate medical treatment and surgical intervention. Sometimes it can lead to death.
Some of the more common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents include:
- Sprains (ankle and wrists)
- Broken bones (wrists, elbows, arms, hips, and legs)
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Head injury
Common Causes Of Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for over 1 million hospital emergency room visits each year. Many of these accidents are preventable. Below are some examples of the common causes of slip and fall accidents:
- Open holes
- Wet or slippery floors
- Broken, cracked or uneven payment
- Tattered or torn carpets
- Broken stairs or handrails
- Insufficient lighting
- Obstructed walkways
- Lack of warning signs
Common Locations For Slip and Fall Accidents
Dangerous and hazardous conditions leading to slip and fall accidents are commonly found at:
- Grocery stores
- Department stores
- Gas station convenience stores
- Strip shopping centers
- Parking lots
- Stadiums and arenas
- Amusement parks
- Business offices
- Construction sites
- Private homes
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
What you do after a slip and fall is critically important to get a fair recovery for your claim. Preserving and building your claim after a slip and fall is a matter of verification and documentation. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, protect your legal rights to compensation.
Get Medical Treatment Immediately
Following a slip and fall accident, don’t avoid or delay medical treatment. Even if you’re experiencing only mild pain, you may have suffered a more serious injury. Go to an emergency room or urgent care immediately and report all your symptoms, no matter how minor. A doctor will evaluate the extent of your injuries.
Also, it’s important to report to the doctor that you were involved in a slip and fall accident. Your doctor will need to understand the nature and mechanism of your injury and document it in the medical records. The medical records will be an important piece of evidence should you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.
Any delay in medical treatment could potentially jeopardize your health but also impair your legal claim for damages. Oftentimes, a defense attorney defending a property owner will argue the absence of immediate medical evaluation/treatment indicates the injury was not significant; otherwise, you would’ve immediately sought treatment. Additionally, any delays in medical evaluation/treatment can give a defense attorney the opportunity to argue the injury was related to something other than the slip and fall accident.
Report Your Slip And Fall Accident To The Property Owner Or Manager
If you experience a slip and fall accident on a business property, immediately report it to the owner, manager on duty, or the person in charge. It’s critically important the property owner is aware a slip and fall accident occurred so the incident can be documented. You don’t need to sign any document. You’re not legally required to complete or sign anything. Verbally reporting the incident is enough.
Identify What Caused You To Slip And Fall
In Texas, proof is required of a dangerous condition that caused you to slip and fall. As such, it’s important to identify what led to your fall, e.g., wet floor, uneven surface, etc.
Take photographs of the scene with your smartphone or have someone else take photographs for you. Take photos of the ground/floor, the area around you, and even the area that surrounds the scene. Your lawyer can help you determine what’s most important later. Photographs can be critical to show your version of events is accurate.
Take some time to collect the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of all potential witnesses. Should you decide to seek compensation for your injuries, their statements could help prove your slip and fall claim.
Limit Your Communications
Remain calm and limit your communication with the property owner or manager on duty. Whatever you do, don’t post any details related to your accident on social media. It’ll be used against you later. Also, don’t give a statement to an insurance company until you’ve spoken to a lawyer.
Contact Our Houston Slip & Fall Car Accident Attorneys
When considering legal action, the best person on your side is an experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer. As former insurance defense lawyers, we know what information insurance companies use to determine the value of a case and develop the case accordingly. We use their own “playbook” against them to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call Hernandez Sunosky, LLP at 713.981.4100. Our experienced injury lawyers serve the Greater Houston area.