Should you slip and fall on someone else’s property, is it always your fault? It depends. If the accident was caused by something hazardous or dangerous on another person’s property – such as an uneven floor surface – this could qualify as premises liability.
- National and Illinois Slip and Fall Statistics
- Slip and Fall Injuries Requiring Medical Intervention
- Preventing a Slip and Fall Accident
- Contributing Factors to Slip and Fall Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents in Nursing Homes
- Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Illinois
- Holding Property Owners Accountable
- Establishing Liability
- Possible Defendants in a Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit
- How to Prove Negligence in a Slip & Fall Accident
- The Illinois Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims
- Bad Faith Offer From the Defendant’s Insurance Company
- Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm to Handle Your Slip and Fall Case
- Decatur Slip and Fall Lawyer Resources:
Contact our Decatur slip and fall attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to discuss your legal options to determine whether you have a case for premises liability in Decatur, IL. Our legal team specializes in personal injury cases, so your passionate lawyer can ensure that our clients receive all the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering related to accidents.
Call a Decatur, Illinois personal injury attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
National and Illinois Slip and Fall Statistics
According to the United States Census Bureau, the population reached a record 312.9 million in 2000 and grew to an estimated 318.8 million in 2009, a 1.77% increase during that decade alone. This staggering number of Americans makes up about 4.5% of the world’s total population, based on the current World Population Review 2010.
The following table shows some national and Illinois slip and fall statistics:
A 2019 report on personal injury by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found that an estimated 2,885,000 non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses were reported in 2018 nationwide.
In addition, the incident rate of 4.7 cases per 100 full-time workers increased from the 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers reported in 2017 (a decade high and a 2.5 increase since 1987).
The most common types of injury:
- 24% – Fall, slip, trip, and fall on the same level (all ages)
- 23% – Struck by object or equipment (all ages)
- 23% – Struck by object or equipment (age 16 and older)
- 16% – Cut by an object, equipment, or machinery (all ages)
One significant reason for most slipping, tripping, and falling accidents could be that purchasing shoes with faulty soles is easy, allowing for more accidents.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported more than 801,000 emergency department visits due to accident-related injuries in 2019 alone. Over one-fourth occurred due to falls of the almost 1.7 million injury-related emergency department visits by adults during that same time frame.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2016, falls sent more than 27,000 people of all ages to the emergency room daily. The CDC also reported a direct correlation between injury-related deaths and falls greater than six feet from standing height.
Slip and Fall Injuries Requiring Medical Intervention
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), in 2019, hundreds of thousands of injured victims who suffered harm in a slip and fall incident required medical intervention at the emergency room and doctors’ offices.
These slip-and-fall cases have no specific pattern, but severe injuries are usually traumatic. Some of the most common slip and fall injuries requiring medical care intervention include:
- Bone fractures are prevalent when victims fall after losing their balance while climbing stairs, carrying heavy luggage, or in any other situation.
- Muscle injuries typically occur when the injured person falls forward and makes an impact with their knees or hands. Head injury is also common in slip-and-fall accidents if the victim falls backward because the body’s weight falls on the head or neck.
- Bruising – Most victims of slip and fall accidents experience bruising because the body comes in contact with any hard surface during a fall, causing injury to various parts of the body.
- Head injuries are prevalent when the victim falls while walking on uneven surfaces or climbing stairs.
- Spinal cord damage is another common injury resulting from slip and fall accidents. The victim may end up injuring their back or neck because of the impact of the fall, putting pressure on the spinal column area.
- Hematoma – Hematomas are also known as “hematomas of the soft tissues,” They usually form due to swelling or bleeding in any tissue. In most cases, hematomas occur due to falling where the victim suffers trauma to the head, neck, chest, or abdomen.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is significantly more harmful than head or facial trauma. It could lead the victim to life-altering nerve damage and cognitive injury.
The CDC lists four types of injuries from slip and fall incidents:
- Injuries from hitting your head/face on a hard surface while falling
- Injuries from hitting your arms or legs on a hard surface while falling. You can also get injured when you fall backward and hit the back of your head
- In injuries caused by twisting/sprawling out because of a loss of control while slipping so that you fall with an awkward posture
- Injuries caused when you are wet or have clothes that are muddy/wet
The NIH also states the following slip and fall injuries can cause death:
- Head, neck, or spinal cord injury if your head hits a hard surface
- Blood clots form in the leg veins or lungs after being still for too long because of sitting down while injured
- Infections from cuts and bruises, particularly in the case of children
A helmet can prevent death from a head injury after slipping or falling. Most slip-and-fall accidents could be avoided if precautions were taken before entering an unsafe environment.
Preventing a Slip and Fall Accident
Slippery floors, bad lighting, or uneven surfaces cause slip and fall injuries. However, some slip and fall incidents are caused by a business owner/operator’s negligence.
To prevent yourself from suffering severe injuries in case you do a slip-and-fall accident, you should:
- Avoid wearing footwear that could be slippery when walking on wet surfaces or when the floor is covered with a slippery substance
- Walk carefully and deliberately. Do not run unless necessary, especially if the floor has turned hazardous. Ensure you always maintain your balance because even a slight slip could result in serious injuries or death. If you lose your balance, make sure you land on your side rather than your face or head.
- If the floor is wet or slippery, do not carry heavy items until you have dried your hands on a towel or cloth.
- Always look at your feet while walking to ensure that you are standing on solid ground
- Be extra careful if you are with older adults, children, or pets with you because they are more prone to slipping.
Even indoors, you should also be careful of potential slip and fall hazards. For example, wet floors caused by poor cleaning practices may lead to accidents, especially in hospital settings where medical floor care is paramount. Hospital workers are responsible for ensuring all areas are clean and not creating slip and fall hazards.
Contributing Factors to Slip and Fall Accidents
Many factors contribute to slip and fall accidents, such as:
- Wet or slippery floors – One common cause is wet floor surfaces caused by spills, leakage, improper cleaning practices, etc.
- Old floors – Some floor surfaces, such as wooden or marble floors, are unsuitable for wet use. For this reason, some businesses may opt to install anti-slip mats if there is an increased risk of wet floor surfaces. For example, this could be the dining area at a restaurant where water spills quickly.
- Unsafe stairs – Slips and falls occur on staircases more often than you think, as people tend to slip on the stairs from the upper or lower floors.
In some cases, injuries may not result from wet or slippery surfaces but from defective products, such as poorly packed boxes that might break while carried. Today there are safety regulations concerning the handling of fragile household items.
Besides being aware of potential dangers before going out, you can also take precautions to prevent yourself from slipping at home.
For example, your shoes may be wet after walking through a puddle. If so, do not let them touch the floor inside your house because it will likely create a slippery surface that could cause you to fall. Remove your shoes before entering your house, or wipe away the mud, dirt, and water.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Nursing Homes
Many nursing home residents are victims of slip and fall accidents leading to broken hips, significant head trauma, and other broken bones. These accidents are often the result of staff negligence, abuse, or a lack of supervision.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that establishes and monitors compliance with federal healthcare laws, nursing homes are required to meet certain staffing levels, including:
- Registered nurses (RNs)
- Licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
- Certified nurse assistants (CNAs)
A fatal slip and fall accident in a nursing facility is likely because of a dangerous building condition (fall hazard), such as an obstructed or slippery floor, wet floor, defective stairway, or improperly-lit walkway.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation if you were injured on someone else’s property, including a nursing home.
Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Illinois
The most common compensation for slip and fall injuries is for “Compensatory Damages” awarded to pay for actual economic losses by a victim who suffered injuries.
Compensatory damages are documented with receipts for medical bills, hospital stays, operation costs, equipment costs (wheelchair or walker), and paid time off to recover.
The other type of damage that may be recoverable for slip and fall injuries in Illinois is called “Punitive Damages.” Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the injury was caused by willful and wanton behavior.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoers for their reckless conduct to convey that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Holding Property Owners Accountable
Unless the injured victim ignores warning signs posted in hazardous areas or conditions, they likely have the right to file a civil lawsuit citing negligence leading to their slip and fall injuries.
Property owners have a legal duty to ensure every visitor, invitee, or vendor on the premises has a safe environment free from hazardous conditions. Under Illinois law, property owners must fix hazardous conditions they were aware of or should have known about before.
Property owners will likely be named defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by the injured victim when an injury occurs.
For example, suppose the court believes that the property owner was negligent and their negligence caused or contributed to your slip and fall injuries. In that case, the victim may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained.
However, you must hire a competent personal injury attorney to represent your interests in court because negligence can be difficult to prove beyond doubt.
A competent Decatur personal injury lawyer will establish the property owner’s liability by interviewing witnesses, analyzing photographs of the site (before and after), and getting third-party testimony from other witnesses such as police officers, maintenance workers, or paramedics.
Slip and fall accidents can be devastating injuries to your body – if not fatal. So, you must seek the advice of a qualified slip and fall attorney with experience in personal injury law.
Possible Defendants in a Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit
Are you the victim of a slip-and-fall accident? If so, you could bring multiple fall cases against more than one defendant.
The most common defendants in a slip-and-fall lawsuit include:
- Store owner
- Office building managers and maintenance crews
- Commercial building tenants
- Business owners
- Professional organizations (i.e., the National Association of Realtors, state realtors associations)
- Industry trade groups
- Restaurants and bars that own their building
- Healthcare Facilities/ Providers
- Property Owners (commercial or residential)
- Apartment management companies
- Supermarket managers/associates
- Commercial building owners
- Supermarket vendors
- Building contractors/subcontractors
In some cases, property owners and business owners may be held jointly and severally liable for damages caused by the slip and fall accident.
The key is to consult an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney to help you decide how best to proceed with your case. Doing so can dramatically increase your odds of obtaining fair compensation for slip and fall injuries.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip & Fall Accident
Negligence refers to the lack of due care for the property owner who allowed a dangerous condition to exist, resulting in someone being seriously harmed. The following are examples proving negligence:
- The property owner knew of the hazardous condition that caused or contributed to your injury
- Hazardous conditions were present for an extended period before the accident, with no repairs having taken place
- The property owner was negligent in maintaining their property by allowing dangerous conditions to exist without taking action/repairing them
- While these are examples of negligence, they are not the only evidence that can be used to prove a property owner’s liability. The best way to prove property owners’ negligence is by enlisting an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney to help you establish all available proofs for your slip and fall case.
The Illinois Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Claims
Under Illinois law, slip, and fall accident victims have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit or slip and fall claim seeking financial compensation from all parties at fault for causing their injuries.
However, it is essential to note that the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit begins on the date of your accident – not the day you were injured or the day you discovered your injuries.
For example: If you were involved in a Decatur slip and fall accident on January 1st, 2020, you would have until January 1st, 2022 (two years from the date of injury) to file a personal injury lawsuit.
To avoid missing your deadline, you should consult with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Contact our fall injury lawyer today at (888) 424-5757 for a free case evaluation to discuss your personal injury case.
Your slip-and-fall lawyers will help you understand the statute of limitations and how it relates to your case. Contact our Decatur slip and fall law firm at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review.
Speak with a slip and fall lawyer to discuss your severe injury, financial stress, and how the falling incident or auto accident occurred.
Bad Faith Offer From the Defendant’s Insurance Company
In some incidents, our Decatur personal injury lawyers file a lawsuit or claim after the defendant’s insurance company made a bad-faith offer, hoping to resolve the case for significantly less than the claim is worth.
Other times, insurance companies will deny personal injury claims or delay payment so long as the injured victim accepts any offer to stop the legal process.
However, with competent legal advice from the Decatur slip and fall lawyer, the law firm can push new vigor into personal injury matters and get the insurance company to agree to a negotiation meeting.
Most insurance companies generate profits for the stockholders, often at the expense of injury victims. As a result, claims adjusters are trained to offer the lowest amount possible to minimize the extent of the victim’s injuries or divert responsibility away from the defendant.
However, our personal injury lawyers can take legal action to hold the responsible parties financially accountable and obtain maximum compensation for our clients. For example, in wrongful death cases, our clients seek compensation to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and funeral & burial expenses.
Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm to Handle Your Slip and Fall Case
Were you injured in a slip-and-fall accident and want to file a personal injury claim for maximum compensation? Speak with a slip and fall attorney at our law firm specializing in personal injury claims like yours.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free legal consultation.
Your Decatur slip and fall lawyer accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until the case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.