Slip and Fall Injuries Are Serious Legal Matters
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 million people aged 65 or older are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year. Over 800,000 people a year are hospitalized because of an injury from a slip or trip and fall, and the most common of these injuries are a head injury or hip fracture.
However, the risk of a slip and fall injury is not limited to certain age groups. In fact, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the CDC, recently released data that shows unintentional falls are the top cause of nonfatal injury in all age groups except 10-24. For ages 10-24, unintentional fall is the second leading cause of nonfatal injury.
This data shows confirms how common accidents occur due to slips, trips and falls. It also dispels the myth that injuries resulting from slip and falls are insignificant or not serious. The contrary is true – slip and fall accidents can result in very serious injuries, even death.
The CDC estimates that one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and can also result in serious neck, back or spine injuries and even death.
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall or a trip and fall accident, you may have the legal right to recover money for your injuries, including amounts for medical bills and lost wages. Contact our Kansas City slip and fall lawyer for a free, no obligation consultation, so we can make sure your rights are protected and provide guidance and support on next steps. Call today: 816-203-0143.
Where Slip and Fall Accidents Often Occur
Slip and falls can occur in a variety of settings. Many times, a slip and fall happens inside or directly outside a business. A slip and fall injury claim is based on a legal doctrine known as premises liability, which allows an injured person to hold the property owner accountable for a failure to maintain a safe premises.
Slip and falls commonly occur in the following places:
- Hotels and apartment complexes.
- Restaurants and bars.
- Retail stores and parking lots.
- Your workplace.
- Stairs, sidewalks and driveways.
Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
To make a slip and fall claim, you will need to identify the specific dangerous condition on the property that caused you to slip and fall. Common conditions that can be dangerous and cause slip and fall accidents include:
- Damaged sidewalks, driveways, or walkways leading to a business. This includes sidewalks or pathways that are uneven or potholes.
- The failure to remove or treat snow and ice to prevent it from being slippery.
- The failure to keep walkways clear from clutter or dangerous, slippery substances that could cause you to trip, slip or fall.
- The failure to mark or barricade areas that are dangerous. Examples include failing to use signs to warn of wet floor, uneven pavement, unmarked steps or other dangerous conditions.
- Stairs that are too steep or shallow, that have broken handrails or have narrow treads.
- Changes in the height or composition of the floor or ground.
Many slip and fall accidents can be avoided with maintenance or by taking reasonable measures to make the property safe for visitors. If there are dangerous conditions that cannot be repaired, the property owner or renter needs to adequately warn visitors of the hazard.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
When you are hurt in a slip and fall, the amount of money you can recover from the property owner or renter who was responsible for the accident will vary depending upon how badly you were hurt. Common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:
- Bone Fractures. Hip fractures are an injury often suffered in slip and falls by the elderly, but anyone of any age can break a bone in a fall, such as leg, arm or foot fractures.
- Knee and shoulder injuries. Injuries to the knee or shoulder often result from a fall, which typically include damage to soft tissues through sprain, strain, and tear injuries.
- Neck and back injuries. Falls can damage the soft tissues in your neck and back, including the muscles, joints, and ligaments. Strains, sprains, tears and herniated discs can result from fall injuries.
- Spinal cord injury. Falls are a leading cause of spinal cord injury. The most serious spinal injuries can result in paralysis or death. Even less serious neck, back or spine injuries can have lasting pain and complications.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Brain or head injuries are more common than you may think. You do not need to lose consciousness or even suffer an impact to the head to suffer a traumatic brain injury. However, TBIs can result in serious cognitive impairment, and other limiting symptoms, such as mood changes, seizures, and memory loss.
- Death. Anyone can suffer fatal injuries from a slip and fall or other premises liability accident. However, falls are a top cause of death for adults ages 65 and up.
What Must I Prove in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the property owner or other party responsible for the maintaining the property.
To successfully assert a slip and fall claim, you must prove that:
- Duty of care. The property owner or other responsible party had a legal duty to make the property safe for you or to warn you of the unsafe condition;
- Breach of that duty. The owner or other responsible party failed to fulfill and thereby breached its duty of care.
- Causation of damages. The failure or breach by the property owner or other responsible party must have caused you to suffer injuries or other damages.
Proving these elements in court can be difficult, particularly since there are defenses that may be raised by the other side. There are also complicated rules about how to pursue and prove your case in court. For this reason, you should consult with an experienced slip and fall lawyer about your case. Our Kansas City slip and fall attorney can help you understand your rights and provide guidance on how to pursue compensation, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages and lost future earnings
- Past and future pain and suffering and more.
Our Kansas City Slip and Fall Lawyer is Ready to Help
Slip and fall injuries can be very serious matters. You may be struggling to pay your medical bills while also being unable to work and earn a living due to your injuries.
Missouri and Kansas law allows you to recover compensation for your losses if another party is at fault. If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury, our Kansas City slip and fall lawyer can help. Contact our law firm online or by calling 816-203-0143 today for a FREE, no obligation consultation. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you.