If you or your loved one have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, call experienced Houston slip-and-fall attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T today away for a FREE consultation. Our lawyers will explain your rights as a slip-and-fall victim and will work hard to get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve. In addition, we will never charge you anything at all unless we win your case and obtain compensation for you.
Whenever a business is inviting or welcoming the public to its premises, it has the responsibility of observing reasonable safety standards. As such, owners and employees have to implement and follow procedures to inspect their premises on a regular basis and eliminate any risks or defects that may cause their customer injury. Examples of this include quickly cleaning up spills, placing warning signs strategically for wet or slippery floors, and addressing other potential hazards without delay. Sadly, many businesses fail to take reasonable care of their facilities in order to protect the safety of their customers, and, as a result, slip-and-fall accidents occur all the time!
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How Serious are Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Slips-and-falls are often thought of as minor accidents – after all, nearly everyone has slipped while walking at some point in his or her life. Many times, slip-and-falls only frighten people. Physically, they may only suffer a minor bruise and easily get up and carry on with their lives. Unfortunately, this is not the case in serious slip-and-fall accidents, which can cause permanent, debilitating injuries to some victims.
Someone who slips can fall directly forward, backward, or on either side. No matter the direction of your fall, you hardly have the time to react and support your body, and attempting to support your body may actually result in additional injuries – such as sprained backs, twisted wrists or broken hands and fingers – caused by the impact with the floor. Since most of the slip-and-fall victims have little power over how – or where – they land, they are likely to suffer a significant blow when they hit the floor or any other close object.
What Types of Injuries are Associated with Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Many slip-and-fall injuries call for immediate medical attention and may necessitate extensive and expensive medical treatment. Besides, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that falls – which include slips, trips, and falls – are the third-leading contributors to accidental fatal injuries in the United States. Some of the serious injuries that may arise from slip-and-falls include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury – commonly known as TBI – may occur when a person hits their head against an object, or sustains sudden shaking of the head. The injury to the brain tissue may range from mild to serious, although any category of a TBI can have potentially serious effects on the victim. Concussions are mild forms of TBI, and even a concussion calls for medical attention to keep any complications or long-term effects at bay. More severe injuries to the brain tissue can result in ongoing cognitive, physical, and behavioral damage that may span several months or years, and, therefore, require extensive rehabilitation.
Fractured and Broken Bones
Many people have endured a broken bone, and bones are often resilient, especially with the passage of time. Yet, some fractures may cause very significant problems. For instance, open or compound fractures often call for emergency surgery. In some cases, victims may have to undergo several surgeries, and may not be able to use their injured body part for months. Even after surgery, some people may never fully recover from such injuries. Additionally, older people who suffer slip-and-fall accidents are at greater risk of breaking a hip, which is an extremely serious injury for the elderly and most often necessitates surgery.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Bones are not the only body parts that can suffer injuries in a fall. Falls may also damage soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Unexpected falls can result in the twisting or abnormal stretching of certain body parts. This may cause tissues to tear, sprain or strain. These painful injuries may require months of physical therapy to recover and may severely limit a person’s range of motion and inhibit how they go about their normal activities at home or work.
Neck and Back Injuries
The neck and back offer vital support to a person’s upper body. Any injury to the neck or back may cause severe pain whenever a person tries to move, and can, therefore, greatly inhibit daily activities. Back and neck injuries can also have unpredictable effects, including headaches, numb or tingling extremities, and serious sleep problems. All of these injuries can affect your work, the ability to lift up your kids, carry items in your hands, get in and out of a car and even take care of yourself, such as shower or brush your hair.
Spinal Cord Injuries
While any injury to the back or neck may be devastating, the most severe upper body injury is one involving the spinal cord. The spinal cord is crucial to most bodily functions, and any injury to it can greatly hinder a person’s life. The severity of spinal cord injuries often varies, and doctors should carefully assess, stabilize, and treat these injuries. Often, they will require long hospitalization periods and extensive sessions of rehabilitative therapy. Some of those who suffer spinal cord injuries suffer permanent paralysis and can never walk again.
What Type of Damages Can You Seek in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Losses and damages are different in every case and depend on the nature and severity of the injuries. After a slip-and-fall accident, you need to consult a law firm experienced in obtaining the maximum compensation in such cases. The skillful and aggressive Houston slip-and-fall attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T have decades of experience handling slip-and-fall accidents and know how to compute all of your damages, in order to obtain the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve!
The following are some of the damages that may be sought in a slip-and-fall case:
- Medical bills for treatment already received;
- Cost of ongoing and future treatment;
- Lost income in cases, where injury prevented one from working;
- Loss of future income, if the injuries prevented one from returning to previous job, forced them to settle for a lower-paying position, or totally prevented them from working;
- Physical pain and suffering resulting from the injury;
- Emotional trauma and distress due to the injury;
- Lasting effects of an injury, such as physical or psychological impairment, disability, or disfigurement.
What are the Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
In order to receive compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of slip-and-fall injuries you first have to prove that another party’s negligence caused your accident and injury. Negligence occurs when a party fails to observe a duty of care to another person, and such failure, also known as a breach, results in an injury. In slip-and-fall cases, elements of such negligence often involve the following stages:
- A property owner or a business occupying a given property has a duty of care to ensure that visitors and customers are safe on the premises;
- A property owner or a business does not keep the property in a safe state, thereby breaching its the duty of care;
- As a result of the breach, a defect or hazard on the property or in the business results in a slip-and-fall causing injuries;
- A person suffer damages and losses as a result of the accident and the injuries, such as medical bills, lost income, and non-financial losses such as pain and suffering.
A business or property owner may breach the duty of care in several ways, which could then result in a slip-and-fall. The breach would often involve allowing a risk on the premises to exist, that the owner or premises occupant should have discovered through careful inspection, or did discover, but failed to take action to correct. Some of the conditions that result in slip-and-falls include:
- Slippery or wet floors resulting from spills or cleaning;
- Obstacles protruding into walkways or in the middle of the floor;
- Improperly secured wires and cords;
- Overly worn our carpets or damaged floor tiles;
- Slippery stairs and ramps;
- Failure to inform customers and visitors of known risks that cannot be fixed immediately (placing wet floor signs, for example).
In a slip-and-fall case, a business manager or property owner must either be aware of the hazard and fail to take appropriate steps to correct it, or SHOULD have been aware of it through proper inspection of the premises and corrected it within a reasonable time. If a spill causing the floor to become slippery occurs 10 seconds prior to your slip-and-fall, you cannot hold the owner responsible for the accident, as he had not had reasonable time to learn of it and take the proper steps to remedy the problem or warn you of the risk.
After a slip-and-fall accident, property owners often claim that they could not have known about a hazard, when, in fact, they SHOULD have known about it and fixed it. For example, suppose you are walking through a grocery store and suddenly slip on a piece of fruit that fell from the display onto the floor. The store manager claims that the fruit had JUST fallen, and there is no way that the store personnel could have known about it or had time to clean it. Yet, the video surveillance footage from the store cameras shows that the fruit fell 30 minutes before your slip-and-fall. Store employees should have inspected the area within that time and eliminated the risk. In this example, the store CAN be held liable for the slip-and-fall victim’s injuries, because even if the store personnel did not have actual knowledge of the hazard, they SHOULD have known about it, since they had reasonable time to discover it.
The skillful and aggressive attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T have decades of experience of proving liability even in the most disputed slip-and-fall cases. We investigate prior occurrences that took place on the premises, the policies and procedures of the business where the fall took place, and more. Our legal team works hard to establish that a business is liable for your injuries, and uses our decades of experience to get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.
What Should You Do After a Slip-and-Fall?
Whenever you are visiting a business, someone’s property, or other premises and sustain a slip-and-fall accident, you can take the following actions immediately to begin protecting your right to compensation:
- Prioritize receiving emergency medical treatment if you need it. Address your injuries first, even if they seem minor at the time, and if this means getting an ambulance, do so.
- If you can manage to stay at the scene for several minutes before heading to the emergency room, take pictures of the hazard that caused your slip-and-fall using your cellphone, if at all possible. Also, take pictures of the entire area, since you never know what could be relevant in proving negligence on the part of the business. Often, what pictures DO NOT show (absence of ‘wet floor’ signs, for example) is just as important.
- Report the incident to management for it to file an incident report concerning what happened. This will also prove that the fall actually occurred, in case the business later attempts to dispute the occurrence of the incident.
- Go to the emergency room as SOON as possible after reporting the fall. Receiving a timely diagnosis and treatment recommendations in official emergency medical records will become very important in proving your injuries later on.
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T as soon as possible after your fall. We understand that in attending to your injuries, receiving medical treatment, and focusing on physical recovery, it may be easy to overlook the importance of getting the right law firm on your side. It is, however, never too early to begin discussing your options and your legal rights.
Call Houston Slip-and-Fall Attorney at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one suffered a slip-and-fall injury anywhere in the Houston area, call the Houston personal injury firm at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T. Our experienced, skillful and aggressive slip-and-fall attorneys will work hard to get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Since we work on a contingency fee basis for all personal injury cases, you will not have to pay us anything AT ALL unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Call us or fill out our online case form. Remember – you pay nothing unless and until we have obtained compensation for you.