The How, Why and What of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are often associated with wintery weather, snow, and ice. But these cases are a surprisingly common occurrence in sunny locales too, including Fort Myers and elsewhere in Florida. Many slip and fall accidents can be attributed to a property owner or manager’s negligence or carelessness. Injuries can include everything from sprained ankles to serious head trauma or paralysis.
Below is a guide to understanding how slip and falls occur, why they typically signal negligence and what a victim can do to protect his or her rights to compensation.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
A slip and fall accident occurs when a victim loses traction while walking (owing to a hazard such as water, oil, ice, liquid, fabric) and literally falls.
A slip and fall victim will most often fall backward. This can result in injuries such as:
- broken bones (including, but not limited to, fractures of the arms, legs, wrists, hands, ankles, feet, pelvis or hips)
- traumatic brain injury
- spinal trauma
- herniated disc;
- neck injury
Slip and fall injuries – particularly hip fractures – can be especially dangerous and even fatal for elderly victims.
Why Slip and Fall Accidents Typically Signal Negligence
Slip and fall accidents are prosecuted as premises liability claims. This is because property and business owners are legally obligated to maintain reasonably safe premises. This includes minimizing hazards that lead to slip and fall accidents. A slip and fall accident often is the result of an owner or property manager’s negligence.
Examples of negligence and liability include failing to:
- perform routine maintenance, such as fixing a leaky pipe that drips onto a floor, creating a slip hazard;
- install high-traction flooring;
- mop up or otherwise remove spilled liquids; and
- warn the public of a slip and fall hazard.
An attorney can help determine if negligence played a role in a slip and fall accident and identify all financially liable parties.
What a Slip and Fall Victim Can Do to Protect His or Her Rights
A slip and fall injury victim may have the right to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit and damages may include:
- medical expenses (including the cost of all medical tests and procedures deemed medically necessary in connection with an accident injury);
- lost income (a claim may cover a portion of lost wages and the loss of future income in connection with the injury);
- other accident-related expenses (such as transportation, home healthcare and housekeeping);
- pain and suffering (to account for the negative impact of the accident on a victim’s day-to-day life); and
- wrongful death damages (available to qualified family members in the event of a fatal accident).
Hiring a lawyer is an important first step in protecting your right to compensation. Learn about your options by contacting the attorneys at Chalik & Chalik. Call (954) 476-1000 or contact us via our online form.