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Slip and Fall Death

Did You Know?

Slip and fall incidents cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of accidental deaths.

Over 12,000 Americans die each year in slip and fall accidents, a number second only to those who are killed in automobile accidents. Hundreds of thousands of people receive both major and minor injuries from slips and falls. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may have legal recourse against the owner of the property where you fell.

Slip and fall accidents differ significantly from other types of accident cases in an important respect. The negligent or dangerous conditions that caused a slip and fall injury are usually easily and quickly cleaned up or lost. This loss of the physical evidence makes slip and fall cases more difficult to prove than other types of cases.

Falls, whether caused by a slip, loss of balance, or poor vision, are the leading cause of injury, disability, placement in nursing homes, and premature death in elderly Americans. According to the National Safety Council, 27.7% of slips and falls occur either while a person is on the job or while working in the house/yard.

Slip & Fall Injuries May Involve:

  • Walkways
  • Ramps
  • Stairs
  • Playing Surfaces
  • Grates/Roller
  • Skating Rinks
  • Escalators
  • Sports Fields & Surfaces
  • Dance Floors
  • Showers
  • Bathtubs
  • Ladders
  • Footwear
  • Scaffolds
  • Mats and Carpets

There are Four Types of Slip and Fall Accidents:

  • Trip-and-fall accidents, where there is a foreign object in the walking path
  • Stump-and-fall accidents, where there is an impediment in the walking surface
  • Step-and-fall accidents, where there is an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface
  • Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails

Structural Defects

Structural damages to a building, often due to age or wear and tear, can be a significant cause of injury. Uneven steps, parking lot potholes, cracked sidewalks, broken tiles, or torn carpeting can create dangerous situations for visitors to a building. As noted earlier, to prove negligence, you will generally have to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the problem and failed to repair it.

Accidents Caused Weather

Slip and fall accidents are difficult cases for injured plaintiffs. Landowners are generally expected to take reasonable steps to reduce hazards created by adverse weather. This can include, but is not limited to, shoveling snow, salting or sanding icy and slippery spots, and installing anti-slip devices on outdoor steps.

Six things you should do if you are injured in a slip and fall accident

  • If possible, identify and photograph the condition that caused you to slip and fall. Was there water on the floor? Were them any unusual protrusions? Were there broken handrails or guardrails? Was any other condition present that led to the injury?
  • Write down the name, address and telephone number of any witnesses.
  • Obtain the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the property where you were injured.
  • If possible, obtain the name of the property owner's insurance company.
  • Find out if the owner carries any "no fault" medical insurance that could cover your medical bills.
  • See your doctor if you have a pain or physical limitations after a slip and fall so that your injuries can be treated and documented.

Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of "premises liability" cases, which center on the question of a property owner's duty to care for the property. Injury by fire or other accidents resulting from defects in the conditions of buildings also fall under this category.

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