Slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of hospital visits in the United States. Business owners are legally obligated to keep their premises reasonably safe for guests, customers, patrons, and other guests. When they fail to keep their properties safe, guests can slip and fall on ice, glass, debris, liquid, or other dangerous conditions on the property.
If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent property owner. It’s important to discuss your case with a skilled personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC have a proven track record of recovering compensation for slip and fall accident victims.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Many slip and fall accidents are caused by negligence. When property owners use reasonable care to keep their premises safe or warn customers of dangerous conditions, the likelihood of slip and fall accidents decreases significantly. A wet or slippery surface causes many slip-and-fall accidents. A common example would be a liquid product leaking onto the floor and pooling in a location where customers are shopping. Customers can slip and fall if the store doesn’t post a warning sign or clean up the spill.
Other cases involve fall accidents that occur in staircases or on entryway stairs. A broken railing, a loose step, or a wrinkled stair runner can cause a guest to trip and fall on a stairway. Slip-and-fall accidents are more likely when stairways lack proper lighting or don’t have a handrail. Other accidents are caused when victims slip or trip on an uneven floor threshold that sticks up or causes an abnormal slope in the floor.
Finally, slipping on ice, snow, or sleet can cause serious slip-and-fall accidents. During Virginia winters, property owners have a duty to salt and clear the pathways and steps leading to and from their businesses. When property owners fail to warn customers of dangerously icy steps or take action to make them safe, they can be held liable by victims who suffer injuries.
Injuries Commonly Caused in Slip and Fall Cases
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 million people visit the emergency room, and 800,000 people are hospitalized for fall-related injuries annually in the United States. A slip-and-fall accident can cause various injuries. Some injuries are minor, such as scrapes and bruises.
Other injuries, such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or severe hip fracture, are more serious. The CDC reports that one out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as a head injury or broken bone. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In severe cases, a fall can cause multiple fatal medical complications. Some of the most common injuries caused by slip and fall accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Sprained ankle or wrist
- Cuts and bruises
- Spine and nerve damage
- Neck and back injuries, including herniated discs
- Shoulder strain or dislocation
- Knee injuries
- Hand Injuries
What To Do After a Slip in Fall Accident
These injuries can cause painful, lasting complications. After the slip and fall accident, it’s important that you undergo a thorough medical evaluation. If you can do so safely, you should take photos of the accident scene before staff members clean up the dangerous conditions. You should write down the contact information of witnesses and note any details of the events leading up to the accident.
After you visit a medical professional, be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If you need physical therapy or rehabilitation, attend all of your appointments and keep all your records. Doing so will help you prove your injuries are serious and you’re entitled to damages. When you’ve received medical treatment, contacting a premises liability attorney who can help you protect your rights is important. Don’t provide a recorded statement or sign any settlement agreements without speaking to an attorney.
Older Individuals Are More Likely to Suffer Serious Injuries from Falls
The CDC reports that three million older individuals are treated in emergency departments for injuries related to fall accidents. Older individuals may be more likely to have lower body weakness, difficulty with balance and walking, foot pain, or a combination of risk factors that make them particularly vulnerable to serious injuries. Many of these patients suffer hip fractures due to falling, usually by falling sideways. Recovery from hip fractures for older adults can take months.
Some patients never recover their mobility and suffer ongoing pain, even after surgery and rehabilitation. If you are an older person who suffered a hip fracture after a slip-and-fall accident, it’s essential you discuss your case with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, around-the-clock nursing care, and compensation for the pain and suffering of your hip fracture.
How Long Do I Have to Pursue a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
According to Virginia law, victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, you have two years from the slip and fall accident date to file a lawsuit against the property owner. Two years may seem like a long time, but the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin investigating. Evidence can be destroyed as time passes, and witnesses’ memories can fade.
Discuss Your Case with a Premises Liability Attorney in Virginia
Whether you slipped and fell at a store, business, or even a private residence or property owner, you can pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we understand how devastating injuries from slip and fall accidents can be. We will use our expansive experience and resources to help you hold the negligent property owner responsible and obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation.