It only takes a second to slip and fall, but your injuries from such an accident may last forever. Depending upon the severity of the fall, you may experience a head injury or other serious trauma. Enjoying time at the mall or a store can turn tragic when you sustain a slip and fall injury. If another party’s negligence causes your accident and injuries, the at-fault party may owe you financial compensation. Following your accident, you should seek medical attention right away, and then contact an Indiana personal injury attorney to discuss your eligibility to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Businesses, and even your friends may extend invitations for you to visit their property. Whether you are shopping, dining at a restaurant, or enjoying a neighborhood cookout, you do so as an invited guest. Shopping malls, restaurants, and other businesses invite you by way of advertising. By extending this invitation, the business implies that its premises are safe to visit.
When property owners fail to repair known problems that have the potential for harm, their failure constitutes negligence. Examples of common causes of slips and fall accidents include:
- Torn carpet
- Wet floors
- Poor lighting in parking lots
- Wires or extension cords across the floor
- No handrail for a set of steps
A property owner has a duty to repair any hazards that may cause someone on his or her premises to fall. Property owners must also warn their invited guests of any potential dangers, like that of wet and slippery floors.
For example, a wet floor from a leaking roof probably isn’t a first-time event. Chances are the leaking roof is an ongoing condition that the property owner has failed to fix. In such circumstances, even if there is a sign warning of the wet floor, an owner’s failure to fix such a leak constitutes negligence.
Trespassing is one possible exclusion when it comes to negligence and liability. Depending upon the circumstances, the fact that a guest was not invited may preclude property owner liability.
Types of Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
When your body hits a hard surface, you can experience one or more of the following types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are among the leading causes of TBI. For those with a severe TBI, the results are often devastating. Many patients with TBI experience serious impacts on their cognitive and motor functions. Sensations, such as hearing and vision, are also commonly affected. The road to recovery is long, and in some cases, a full recovery is impossible.
Watching a loved one change right before your eyes all because of a dangerous floor or other property condition is distressing. Your loved one’s life may never be the same if the injuries affect his or her ability to work and relationships. No one should suffer indefinitely due to a property owner’s failure to repair a dangerous condition.
Document Your Experience
Sadly, most property owners will try to get out of paying any compensation related to their negligence. They will likely deny responsibility for your injuries, which is why your first actions immediately following an accident are important.
It’s often hard to think clearly when something traumatic, unexpected, and painful happens. Once you recover from the sudden shock, try to keep presence-of-mind to get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. If possible, take pictures of what caused you to fall, and if you’re unable to do so, ask a witness to help you.
Do not speak to the property owner, no matter how friendly he or she may appear at the time. Your first and most important priority is you and what happens to you once you leave the site, whether by ambulance or personal vehicle.
You should seek medical attention immediately following a slip and fall accident. You may feel uninjured; however, some medical conditions are tricky. For example, internal bleeding and even some head injuries may not exhibit symptoms right away. Seeking medical attention after your fall will also serve as good documentation for any future litigation.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
Aggressive insurance companies want to settle and close cases as quickly as possible. For this reason, they may offer injured individuals a quick initial settlement. While the amount of money may appear like a large sum, it most likely won’t cover your future medical needs.
It is important to know that insurance companies are looking out for themselves, not you. To protect your interests, it’s imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A professional and experienced personal injury attorney can handle the details of your case, so you can focus on your health and recovery. It’s difficult to fully understand insurance and legal paperwork when you are injured and in pain. A personal injury attorney will work hard to secure compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Handling a slip and fall case on your own may place you at risk of losing out on securing any compensation at all. Navigating Indiana law when it comes to civil cases and negotiating with insurance companies requires legal experience and expertise.
Fight for Justice
A slip and fall accident is a scary experience. Facing an uncertain financial future because of the fall is just as scary. No one should face a lifetime of medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering because a business failed to repair a carpet or install a handrail.
Ignorance of the situation is often a tactic a business owner may use to try to avoid responsibility. A good personal injury attorney knows how to gather evidence that proves that the business owner’s alleged ignorance actually constitutes negligence.
Don’t let business owners try to blame you for your fall. You simply accepted their invitation to visit their property and assumed that you were safe from harm. Holding them responsible not only helps you to seek compensation but may also prevent future falls.