Knowing whether you can file a personal injury claim is essential if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident. The property owner may sometimes be liable for your injuries, even if they were not at fault.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates to slip and fall injury victims who work hard to ensure that sufficient financial recovery is available through the legal process for their damages.
Contact a Springfield personal injury lawyer 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 your slip-and-fall attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Slip and Fall National and Illinois Statistics
According to the Illinois Department of Health, there were 10,500 emergency room visits for slip and fall injuries in Illinois in 2012.
Over 19% of these injuries involved trips or slips on wet or slippery floors. Eleven percent of them were on stairs. A further 7% of the slip and fall cases involved other areas such as ramps, landings, curbs, loading docks, walking surfaces, etc.
The National Security Council (NSC) reports 61,500 people die annually from slip and fall injuries in the United States. The Council says 2 million injury-related emergency room visits to occur yearly due to trips or slips.
With these types of statistics in mind, property owners need to take steps to protect the safety of their visitors. It includes safety inspections of floors, stairs, ramps, landings, doors, handrails, and other areas that may pose a danger for slip and fall injuries.
A Failure to Post Warning Signs
Property owners, businesses, schools, churches, retail stores, restaurants, and others are legally obligated to post warning signs of any hazardous condition, including slippery surfaces that could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.
However, it may be the case that a property owner fails to take these safety measures since they are not aware of the potential hazard. For example, suppose you have entered private property for business or pleasure and were injured in a slip-and-fall accident. In that case, it is vital to pursue your claim if you can demonstrate that the condition was hidden before your late arrival.
Adverse Weather-Related Slip and Fall Accidents
A recent study of emergency room cases indicated that slip and fall accidents increased by approximately 36% after severe storms. This increase is because property owners clean up debris such as sand, mud, dirt, rocks, and other hazardous materials that could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.
Property owners should be aware of the potential dangers of having large quantities of debris on their premises, including buildings, parking lots, sidewalks, loading docks, and other areas. It includes all material types, such as rocks, dirt, mud, and other potentially slippery substances.
Taking Legal Action
Regarding legal matters, it is found that only five percent of slips and falls lead to lawsuits. Most of these lawsuits are settled out of court. The average settlement range for a slip and fall accident is $10,000–$15,000.
Many people injured in a slip and fall accident (80%) do not contact an attorney because they feel their case may be too small. However, it should never be assumed that your case is not merit, especially if you are not at fault.
Contact our Springfield personal injury lawyers today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number). All confidential or sensitive information shared with our legal team stays private through an attorney-client relationship.
Legal Options Available to You after a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents are the most common injuries people experience yearly in private locations and business establishments. When you are injured on someone else’s property, they must be held liable for your injuries so you can receive compensation. It includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, quality of life, property damage due to the accident, etc.
The legal rights of Springfield slip and fall victims include making a liability claim against the property owner or manager, but only if sufficient evidence exists to prove that negligence was involved in causing the accident.
Proving Your Case
Slips and falls are common but can often be challenging to prove. In many cases, it’s unclear who is responsible for preventing a slip and fall accident.
The property owner may have been unaware of the dangerous condition or unable to remedy it in time. This problem makes proving liability more complex than other personal injury claims.
The Springfield slip and fall accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, represent the interests of those injured needlessly because of the reckless actions leading to a property owner’s negligence. Property owners must take reasonable, common-sense measures to protect the welfare of anyone who has been invited onto the property or has the right to be on the premises.
If you have been injured, we will do whatever we need to ensure you can recover the maximum compensation the law will allow.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents in Springfield
A slip and fall injury can occur anywhere, from outside your residence to inside your office or workplace. Our attorneys have assisted clients in recovering compensation due to injuries resulting from defective guardrails, poorly maintained staircases, slippery surfaces, and more.
Here are some of the more common causes of accidents our slip-and-fall lawyers have seen:
- Poorly maintained sidewalks and parking lots: Uneven pavement, potholes, and surfaces with other defects can quickly contribute to a slip or fall. Property owners are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure these surfaces are safe to walk on.
- Defective elevators: Defects in elevators can cause the doors to open at the wrong times, making it possible for victims to fall down the elevator shaft to their peril. Surviving such an ordeal would change the victim forever, and the victim’s death would leave their loved ones without a companion and contributor.
- Ice and snow: Illinois is known for its cold winters, and property owners need to prepare to clear parking lots and sidewalks of ice and snow so that their guests can walk freely in and out of the building without fear of injury. Also, measures must be taken to address the moisture accumulation of floors inside the building due to the snow and ice tracked in by others.
- Dimly lit halls and staircases: Lighting is often a contributing factor, as the lack of decent lighting can make it difficult for people to see objects in their path, which may otherwise pose a tripping hazard.
- Defective or poorly maintained stairs: Routine repairs and inspections are essential for building maintenance. When staircases are allowed to degrade to the point that steps buckle under the weight of an occupant or obstacles cause victims to stumble when using them, the property owner must be held accountable.
- Workplace hazards: These injuries commonly occur on the job and are the leading cause of injuries that result in time taken off from work. If your employer did not provide adequate safety protection or acted negligently, you may be able to receive extra compensation on the grounds of negligence.
There are significantly more causes of severe injuries in a slip and fall accident from unforeseen circumstances, intentional neglect, or abandonment of a building or area.
Many of these accidents are resolved through civil lawsuits for which the defendants’ insurance companies pay the victims based on coverage limits.
Contact a slip and fall attorney to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your injuries on someone else’s property.
Springfield Slip and Fall Accidents Can Result in Many Different Types of Injury
Since there are many causes of slipping and falling, accidents may result in injuries ranging from minor bruises to death.
Injuries that set you back physically and financially qualify you to file a lawsuit if the accident resulted from a property owner’s negligence or employers’ refusal to follow reasonable safety practices.
Here are some of the types of injuries our slip and fall law firm has handled:
- Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury is more difficult to detect in an initial evaluation because the symptoms remain dormant in many cases for weeks to months as fluid fills the tiny micro-tears in the brain that can result from a sudden blow to the head. In time, this can cause permanent brain damage and impact cognition, motor function, concentration, memory, and the ability to understand and communicate with others.
- Broken bones: Fractures are common when a victim falls from a considerable distance or lands on a rigid surface. They can vary in severity but almost always force the victim to lose time from work while recovering from the injury.
- Nerve damage: Neural retinopathy is a condition that results from extensive damage to groups of nerves following trauma. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and loss of motor function in the affected area.
- Spinal cord damage: The spinal cord is the communication pathway between the brain and the rest of the body and controls motor function. When a victim’s spinal cord becomes damaged or compressed, it can lead to pain, spasms, and a range of motion issues that may require surgery to correct.
- Defective products: Cause hundreds of accidents annually because companies must ensure their products are safe. If they fail to do so, the consequences can be devastating.
Long-term Consequences of Slip and Fall Accidents
Various long-term consequences may follow you long after your initial recovery period has ended, so it’s essential to consult with an attorney as shortly after the accident as possible, even if you feel fine.
Some of those conditions include:
- Hip fractures: A hip fracture is a severe injury requiring extensive rehabilitation, time lost from work, and a lengthy recovery period. There are also often other complications associated with this type of injury that affects the elderly. However, if you have sustained a hip fracture from a slip and fall accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages.
- Cardiovascular injuries: A heart attack is a common complication resulting from a slip and fall accident due to the stress placed on your cardiovascular system by the sudden impact of falling or being thrown to the ground. In addition, you have an increased risk of a heart attack if you have another underlying condition, such as high blood pressure. A slip-and-fall accident can exacerbate this condition, so it’s essential to consult with a medical professional immediately after your accident.
- Severe back injuries: Due to the increased chance for fractures or brain trauma during a slip and fall incident, you are at an increased risk for a herniated disk, pinched nerve, or spinal cord injury. If that happens, you may need surgery and extensive physical therapy to recover from your injuries.
- Burns: For some people, the pain of burns is not debilitating, and they heal more quickly than other types of injuries resulting from a slip and fall. For others, however, burns may be so severe that they require skin grafting or damage more than just the site of impact on their body.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
Some accidents are inevitable. However, taking simple precautions when engaging in everyday activities can significantly reduce your risk of being involved in a slip and fall.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent slip and fall accidents:
- Wear appropriate footwear: Wearing closed-toe shoes with rubber soles will give your feet the traction necessary to avoid slipping on various surfaces, such as wet or oily floors. Avoid wearing slippery materials like leather or suede because they are more likely to cause you to slip.
- Beware of snow/ice: Snow and ice create treacherous conditions for people on their typical paths through life. While it’s impractical to always walk around barefoot, ensure your shoes are the appropriate thickness before venturing into potentially dangerous conditions.
- Be careful in parking garages: Most people believe a parking garage will have a higher surface than the street or sidewalk, but that’s not always true. Many parking garages have a lot of oil and other debris on their surfaces, which you can’t see until it’s too late.
Slip and Fall Accidents & Nursing Home Neglect
Our slip and fall accident attorneys have handled numerous cases involving abuse and neglect in nursing facilities where residents have suffered severe fall injuries.
Many of these cases result from understaffing, overworked employees, and failure to supervise the staff to ensure the residents remain safe.
Nearly all of these fall injuries could have been prevented had the staff recognized the dangerous condition, provided sufficient supervision, or offered assistance when helping mobility-challenged residents. In some cases, the residents are victims of hip fractures, head trauma, cuts, lacerations, and bruising directly associated with falling.
Unfortunately, conditions like lack of supervision or negligence that led to the slip and fall can cause other catastrophic changes in the victim’s health.
Even a minor injury from a slip and fall incident could lead to the long-term effects of associated medical conditions, including developing bedsores from immobility when in a cast.
Work-Related Slip and Fall Accidents
Many occupations place workers in precarious situations where slip-and-fall accidents are nearly inevitable. Some of the jobs include:
- Workers in construction sites
- Retail workers
- Bartenders and servers
- Restaurant workers
- Any job requiring a ladder or scaffold
- Any job where there is a chance to fall from one level to another
Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Any employee harmed on the job through a slip and fall accident has a legal right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, these payments only cover partial damages involving hospitalization costs, medical bills, and lost wages.
Fortunately, a slip and fall accident lawyer can file a civil lawsuit against any third party that might also be involved in causing the accident to ensure that the victim receives just compensation to recover damages.
Some of these third parties might include:
- Product manufacturers
- Grocery stores
- The road and sidewalk maintenance crews
- Building owners
- Business tenants
- Contracted maintenance workers
Failure to properly maintain or inspect a property for dangerous conditions could be the basis of a lawsuit. However, proving that the owner or contractor failed to fulfill their duties can be difficult and require expert witnesses and an investigation into any prior accidents on the property.
Put a Springfield Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer to Work on Your Behalf
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to representing the needs of everyone injured because of another party’s negligent behavior. Our fall attorneys negotiate directly with insurance companies to ensure our clients receive maximum compensation without going to trial.
If you have been injured in a slip or fall accident, we can provide you with the best chance of securing the damages you deserve.
Our slip-and-fall attorneys accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are paid until your case is resolved.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free initial consultation. Learn more about how we have been able to help thousands of people just like you and how our knowledge and experience can help you.
During your consultation with an award-winning Springfield slip and fall accident attorney, we will collect the information needed to investigate your claim and review your legal options so you know what you can expect.