Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip-and-fall accident occurs because an owner, manager, operator or renter of a commercial or residential property failed to address a dangerous situation on his or her property. As a result, someone experienced a slip-and-fall accident that caused an injury or death. Slip and fall accidents are quite common, and it can happen to anyone of any age and level of fitness. L. Clayton Burgess is a slip-and-fall attorney and personal injury lawyer located here in Shreveport Louisiana.
This type of accident can occur anywhere: a restaurant, a private home, a multi-residential building, a parking lot, a supermarket, the mall, a school, the office, or a sidewalk.
Since 2009 it has been recorded that falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities. Falls produced more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. Every hour, falls are responsible for one death and 183 emergency room visits.
Falls cost between $60 billion and $80 billion dollars each year, which includes litigation costs, insurance and comp claims, medical cost, and other indirect costs.
Not all falls are slip-and-fall accidents that occur because a property owner, operator or manager allowed a dangerous or hazardous condition on his or her property. However, a significant percent of these are slip-and-fall accidents by someone visiting the home or business, participating in a public event or visiting a public place like a park, a mall or a restaurant.
When a slip-and-fall accident occurs the injured person should contact a Louisiana slip-and-fall personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney specializing in this type of case can act immediately to determine potential causes and whether or not the owner, operator or manager of the property has created unsafe conditions that caused the accident or acted negligently by failing to fix and hazardous issue.
L. Clayton Burgess is a personal injury attorney that has the necessary expertise and experience to successfully pursue a lawsuit involving a slip-and-fall accident. If you or someone you know suffered injuries form a slip and fall accident, please contact us in Shreveport at (318) 716-3109 or toll free at (877) 234-7573
Contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of L. Clayton Burgess in the Shreveport LA area–to discuss your slip-and-fall accident. This consultation is free with a personal injury lawyer that can understand your needs.
Types of Trip-and Fall-Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents include trip-and-fall accidents as well as accidents caused by falling objects. Altogether, there are several causes of this type of accident.
- A person’s foot slips forward, causing the person to fall on his or her back.
- A person’s foot slips backward, causing the person to fall forward.
- A person trips on an obstacle, broken pavement or other obstruction, falling forward.
- A person is hit by a falling tree branch, piece of masonry or other object.
Causes of Trip-and-Fall Accidents
Most falls occur because of dangerous conditions or hazards. These hazards frequently result from poor design, improper maintenance or obstacles. For example, a slip-and-fall may occur because of slippery surfaces, spills, water leaks or food spills.
They may also occur because of defective flooring, inadequate lighting, wires or other objects left in walkways or pathways.
Common locations for falls:
- Cluttered hallways
- Areas with heavy traffic
- Uneven surfaces
- Areas prone to wetness or spills
- Unguarded heights
- Unstable work surfaces
Types of Slip-and-Fall Injuries.
Slip and fall injuries can range in severity from a few bruises and scrapes to life-altering injuries. Fatalities are also possible.
Typical injuries in a slip and fall are:
- broken bones
- back and spinal injuries
- knee and hip injuries
- head trauma
The effects of some of these injuries may not show up immediately, so it is important to visit an emergency room or urgent care facility or to see your personal physician quickly.
What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
- Seek medical care to determine the nature of your injuries and to document your injury.
- Determine what caused the fall. Document the cause immediately!
- Document your fall. Record the date, time and conditions.
- Take pictures. Remember your telephone and computers have cameras.
- Notify the property owner and report the accident. This is particularly important if you fall in a commercial establishment like the mall, a restaurant or a supermarket.
- Get the names and contact information for witnesses.
- Contact a reliable, experienced Louisiana slip-and-fall personal injury attorney.
Time is critical. Contact a Louisiana personal injury attorney immediately. The attorney can quickly begin an investigation of the accident, identify witnesses and preserve evidence. An experienced Louisiana personal injury law firm that serves here in the Shreveport Louisiana area can act immediately to protect your rights.
Government agencies may also be responsible in a slip-and-fall accident, if they have not repaired unsafe conditions in government-operated buildings or have not repaired problems in public areas.
Government agencies can have complex filing requirements and deadlines. An experienced Louisiana slip-and-fall attorney knows these requirements of the government and the critical filing requirements and deadlines.
Failing to meet these deadlines or satisfy government guidelines in a timely manner can cause you to lose your opportunity to file a claim for compensation.
A Property Owner’s Responsibilities to Prevent Accidents
- All property owners must take reasonable care in managing and maintaining their property so that others are not exposed to danger or a risk of harm.
- Property owners must regularly inspect their property to identify any unsafe conditions. They must then either repair the problem or give adequate warning about the hazard.
- In the case of a public area that abuts private property, the property owner must notify the government agency responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, street or other area.
The victim of a slip-and-fall or other similar accident has to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the danger and that he or she failed to fix it.
If the owner or the owner’s employee caused the problem, it is assumed the property owner knew about it. However, if a customer, guest or other non-employee created the hazard, the injured person has to show that there was time for the owner or manager to discover and repair the problem.
Another possibility is that the condition occurred regularly. In that case, the owner should have been aware of the problem and the conditions that caused it and have taken action to prevent accidents.
For example, if rain regularly caused mud to slide into a walkway or made an area dangerously slick, the owner of the property would be expected to either post warnings or take care of the problem whenever it rained. If he or she did not, then the owner might be held liable if the recurring situation caused an accident, and the lawyer could prove that the accident was caused by a re-occurring problem.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Property owners, managers, renters and operators are the obvious responsible parties in a slip-and-fall accident. However, there may be other not so obvious parties that share responsibility.
For example, gardeners, janitorial services, repair people and other service providers may create hazardous situations and may bear at least part of the responsibility for an accident. Government agencies, franchise operators and parent companies may also be accountable.
For example, an accident at a school would involve the local school district and other local government entities. An accident at a U.S. post office, would involve a claim against the U.S. government.
Being able to identify all parties who might be at fault in an accident can require research and investigation. A Louisiana slip-and-fall personal injury attorney like L. Clayton Burgess has the knowledge to identify the party or parties responsible and document their responsibility in causing the accident.
Damages for Slip-and-Fall Accident
- Immediate and long-term medical care, therapy and assistance.
- Pain and suffering.
- Therapy and rehabilitative services.
- Nursing and other necessary support and care.
- Lost wages and lost earning power.
- Support for the care necessary if you have a catastrophic injury.
An experienced slip-and-fall personal injury lawyer like L. Clayton Burgess would have the knowledge to immediately begin an investigation that included the following activities.
- Conduct a site investigation.
- Document conditions.
- Secure Evidence, including photographs and other records.
- Identify property owners and other parties with responsibility for the property.
- Track down witnesses who either saw the accident or who were aware of the danger.
- Locate proof of prior complaints.
Acting immediately is essential, since dangerous conditions often disappear shortly after a serious accident.