Unintentional injuries, including slips, trips, and falls, have consistently rated as one of the leading causes of death for persons aged 1 to 44 and are among the top causes of death for all age groups in the United States. Falls alone result in over 8 million hospital emergency room visits each year.
Many of these falls happen outside of the home while navigating what should be reliably safe environments such as municipal buildings, pedestrian ways, and commercial properties such as retail stores and other businesses. Falls, even from a short distance, can cause severe physical injury. The consequences of a fall can range from soft tissue injuries to broken bones, internal trauma, and potential head injuries, even death.
Simply put, a slip, trip, or fall happens when there are slippery surface conditions or an uneven surface. While we may be tempted to blame a fall on our own clumsiness, the actual cause and responsibility may lie elsewhere. When there is real harm and expense associated with a fall, including medical care and lost wages, determining liability can be crucial to receiving compensation.
The fact is businesses, property owners, and municipalities have a responsibility to ensure they provide a safe environment for the public. When unsafe conditions such as slippery floors, poor lighting, or uneven surfaces exist, the business, property owner, or municipality may be legally responsible for injuries that occur as a result. The key, in part, is proving a lack of due diligence and knowledge of the hazard. Proving liability and successfully navigating a potential legal action after an injury is a complex process. If you or a loved one should suffer a slip, trip, or fall due to possible negligence, it is important to consult a knowledgeable attorney to understand your legal options.