A personal injury case involving trip and fall accidents happens when a person trips over an obstacle and falls. These types of incidents can occur in various settings, such as in stores, the workplace, public sidewalks, and private property.
For a trip and fall accident to occur, a hazardous condition causing a person to trip must exist. It could be broken or loose pavement, a slippery or wet floor, or an object left in a walkway.
Over 42,000 people died in fall accidents at home and work in 2020. It is the leading cause of fatalities for working adults in certain industries and among the common causes of workplace injuries. Fall accidents injured more than 211,000 workers in 2020, particularly in the construction industry.
Common injuries resulting from trip and fall accidents include bruises, cuts, sprains, head injuries, and fractures. They can range from minor to severe injuries and may require medical attention, time off work, and rehabilitation.
If you were involved in a trip and fall accident, seeking legal advice from an injury lawyer is essential. It is especially true if you have been injured and incurred financial losses due to the incident.
Law firms usually offer free consultations to injured persons seeking to recover damages for their losses. Depending on the agreement you and your fall attorney reach, you can file a premises liability or fall claim to pursue compensation.
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Common Causes of Trip and Fall Accidents
Trip and fall accidents occur in various locations and situations. They often result from dangerous conditions that impede safe movement, particularly while walking. These hazards can take many forms, such as damaged or uneven flooring, cluttered walkways, poorly lit areas, and slippery surfaces.
In addition, trip and fall accidents may happen due to unseen or unexpected obstacles. Examples include potholes in a parking lot or an unmarked step in a dark area.
In some cases, negligence or human error can also trigger such incidents, including leaving stray objects in a walkway or failing to clean up spills immediately.
Uneven flooring and sidewalks
Unsafe flooring conditions are among the leading causes of trip and fall accidents. It includes loose flooring, mats or rugs, floor treatments, spilled grease or oil, and potholes in a parking lot. These surfaces can become uneven due to various factors, such as aging, weathering, or poor maintenance.
Suppose a person is walking on uneven flooring or sidewalks. Their feet might trip on the raised or lowered area, causing them to lose balance and fall. This incident is particularly hazardous for older adults or people with mobility challenges.
Unsafe ladders and stairs
Unsafe conditions, especially those involving ladders and stairs, are another common cause of trip and fall accidents. Ladders may be unstable or not securely positioned, causing them to shift or fall when someone climbs up or down.
Likewise, improperly designed or poorly maintained stairs can also be hazardous. Adequate steps and sufficient handrails are necessary to ensure the safety of people walking up or down the stairs.
Insufficient lighting makes it difficult for people to navigate their surroundings or expect elevation changes. It can be especially problematic in walkways, stairways, and parking lots.
Inadequate lighting can also cause people to judge distances differently, increasing the risk of missteps or falls. In addition, poor lighting can make it challenging to identify warning signs or markings intended to alert people of potential hazards.
Obstructed walkways in public spaces, workplaces, and private properties can cause fall accidents. Factors including tripping hazards, limited space, and lack of warning signs contribute to these incidents.
For example, debris, clutter, or equipment obstructing a walkway. People may have to navigate around them, increasing the risk of tripping and falling. In addition, these obstructions may not be visible from all angles, making it difficult for people to anticipate the hazard.
Obstructed walkways are hazardous in areas like corridors or aisles, where people move quickly and may not notice their surroundings. Similar to uneven or wet floors, obstructed walkways pose a greater challenge for people with disabilities or mobility issues to navigate safely.
Consequences of Trip and Fall Accidents
Several factors affect a trip and fall accident’s consequences. A person’s age, health, and the severity of the fall play a role in determining the extent of the accident’s effects.
Older adults or people with pre-existing medical conditions may be more prone to falls and suffer more severe injuries. It can stem from factors such as weakened bones or slower healing times.
Likewise, the location and circumstances of the fall can also influence its effects. Falls on rugged and rough surfaces are more likely to cause severe and long-term injuries. These physical effects may require emergency room treatment and rehabilitation.
Usually, falls from greater heights are more likely to result in serious injuries. They may lead to cuts and bruises, internal injuries, and sprains or strains. More severe or catastrophic fall injuries include the following:
- Fractures: Fall can result in broken bones. Depending on its severity, it may require a cast or a surgical procedure.
- Head injuries: They include traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. It may occur from blunt force trauma to the head, similar to how people hit their head on hard flooring during a fall.
- Back injuries: They include spinal cord injuries that arise when a fall damages the spinal cord. It can potentially cause paralysis or other long-term medical complications.
A trip and fall accident causes not only physical injuries but also emotional distress to the victim. Personal injury law defines emotional distress as mental suffering due to a particular event or experience. Usually, people identify emotional distress from its symptoms, including anxiety, depression, physical sickness, or loss of ability to perform tasks.
For instance, a person who has experienced a fall accident may develop a fear of heights. This fear may impact their quality of life and ability to participate in various activities they previously enjoyed. In addition, they may also experience feelings of shame or embarrassment, especially if the fall incident happened in a public place.
Emotional trauma can also impact an injured person’s ability to recover from different types of injuries efficiently. Symptoms like stress and anxiety can slow a patient’s healing process. Likewise, it can make it challenging for them to participate actively in physical therapy or other medical treatment.
Suppose you or a loved one experienced emotional trauma from a trip and fall incident. You may recover compensation for your losses. A lawyer can help you navigate the often complex legal processes and advocate for your right to maximum compensation. Contact an accident attorney to know more about your legal options.
Data from the CDC shows approximately $50 billion goes to medical costs for non-fatal fall injuries annually. In addition, US residents spend more than $750 million yearly on fatal falls.
The CDC calculates these costs into direct and indirect medical costs. Direct medical costs include medical expenses, such as hospital care, professional services, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, medical equipment, and insurance processing.
Meanwhile, indirect costs include lost time from household duties and work, disability, dependence on others, and reduced quality of life.
In addition, legal fees may count as a financial cost for your fall case. Suppose you seek legal representation and file a personal injury claim to recover compensation. You may have to pay an accident lawyer for their services.
Benefits of Hiring Trip and Fall Attorneys
Having legal representation after a trip and fall accident can increase the possibility of recovering fair and maximum compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys can help you better understand your legal rights and the amount of damages you deserve to receive. They can also assist in gathering evidence to back your injury case, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court.
In addition, some accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. It means you only pay if they can successfully settle and obtain compensation. Usually, their legal fee is proportionate to the amount an accident victim receives. This payment structure is beneficial for those who may need more financial resources to pay law offices upfront.
Knowledge and experience
Personal injury lawyers have a clear understanding of the law and legal procedures. They are experts in their profession and are knowledgeable about legal procedures. In addition, they have a comprehensive understanding of particular laws, regulations, and processes the general public may not know about.
Lawyers specializing in personal injury possess familiarity and expertise in fall claims. They have handled similar cases and have a deep understanding of specific statutes and regulations that apply to these cases. This expertise allows them to provide the best possible representation and achieve favorable outcomes for clients.
Insurance companies often try to minimize their settlement offers to accident victims. They employ various techniques to lowball claimants pursuing damages for their injuries.
One common tactic is offering a quick settlement. The proposed amount may look fair, but it is usually much less than what a victim deserves. In addition, insurance adjusters may pressure claimants to settle quickly, often before they have a chance to consult with a lawyer about their case.
Personal injury attorneys are skilled at negotiating a fair settlement amount with insurance companies. They have the skills to negotiate with insurance adjusters and can quickly spot tactics that undervalue their clients’ claims.
Access to expert witnesses and resources
Personal injury attorneys can build you a strong argument and collate evidence to support your claim. For instance, they can help you obtain expert witnesses. This resource can have a significant effect on your case. Experts can provide specialized knowledge that determines liability and prove damages.
Expert witnesses can also provide testimonials about the accident’s cause and the severity of its consequences. For instance, a medical expert can testify about the extent and nature of the victim’s injuries. Similarly, a safety expert can tackle the dangerous conditions that caused the incident.
These witnesses can provide insight into industry best practices and standards establishing liability for the accident.
Along with expert witnesses, other resources can also support a trip and fall injury claim. They include medical bills, photographs and videos of the accident scene, witness statements, and other relevant documentation. A personal injury lawyer can ensure all this evidence is collected and presented effectively to help your case.
How To Choose a Trip and Fall Attorney
Choosing the right trip and fall attorney is crucial for the success of your personal injury case. A fruitful attorney-client relationship can benefit your case significantly and expedite your claim process.
You can follow these simple steps to hire the best lawyer for your injury case:
- Conduct research: Look for years of experience and credentials when browsing law firms. You can start by researching attorneys in your state who specialize in personal injury law. More importantly, check for those who have worked with trip and fall cases and were successful in settling their cases.
- Schedule consultations: Once you have a list of potential lawyers, you can schedule consultations to discuss your claim. Many law offices provide free consultations, so take advantage of them to learn more about their approach.
- Ask questions: During the consultation, ask about their experience and strategies when working with personal injury claims. You can also inquire about their fees and the kind of communication you can expect throughout the claims process.
- Evaluate potential lawyers: After meeting with several attorneys, you can evaluate them based on their credentials, experience, and communication style. Consider how at ease you are when you consult them and how confident you are in their ability to win your case.
Book a Free Consultation With an Accident Lawyer
If you sustained injuries from a trip and fall accident, seeking legal advice is the best approach to recovering maximum damages. Trip and fall accidents may cause severe injuries and financial costs that may affect the quality of your life.
The Personal Injury Center can help you connect with a trip and fall lawyer who can advise you on the legal process and advocate for your rights. Attorneys specializing in trip and fall cases can help you understand your legal options. In addition, they can strategize the best course of action for your case.
Book a free case evaluation with The Personal Injury Center today in just three easy steps.
- Describe your case
- Provide your contact details
- Choose lawyers to contact you
FAQs on Trip and Fall Attorneys
In premises liability cases, the property owner is usually liable for a trip and fall incident. However, comparative negligence rules can affect the outcome of a case, especially if the victim tripped over an obvious hazard. In addition, if the victim was trespassing or illegally on the property, they may be unable to recover compensation for their injuries.
The amount of compensation in a premises liability case varies depending on the extent of injuries and expenses incurred from the incident. In addition, insurance companies and courts consider future costs and emotional injuries when calculating damages. Legal fees can also affect the total amount you may keep after a successful claim.
States implement various statutes of limitations for filing claims related to personal injury, including trip and fall cases. Generally, states allocate one to six years for accident victims to file a claim.