It should come of no surprise that slip and fall accidents are common form of injuries. Every year more than 8 million people visit the emergency room because they have suffered injuries in a slip and fall because of a wet or slippery floor, or a trip over uneven surfaces or a hazard.
There are various injuries that can be suffered from a slip and fall. There are several scenarios that exist as far as slip and fall accidents are concerned.
As an example, you go into a fast food restaurant where the tile floors were recently mopped. The manager or employee who mopped the floor should have posted a warning, such as a wet floor sign. If there was no warning, you were not aware of the dangers.
You walk in at a regular pace and slip and fall. In that case, the restaurant is liable for your damages.
You were walking across the dining room of a restaurant when you slipped because of a newly waxed floor. The wax hadn’t been properly buffed and there was no warning to customers that the floor was slippery. In this case, the negligence of the store is obvious, and you can hold them liable for your damages and pursue a personal injury claim against them.
When a store cleans up a mess, or just does routine mopping or waxing of the floor, they must post a warning to customers so they will know to use extreme caution. Entering an area at a regular pace and without extra attentiveness could lead to a slip and fall.
If there isn’t adequate warning, such as a posted sign or a blocked off area, then the business becomes liable for any injuries that customers may suffer in an accident.
Slip-and-fall accidents are surprisingly common and can be very costly. 8 million people visit a hospital every year because they have fallen over after slipping on a wet or slippery surface or tripping over on a hazard such as an uneven sidewalk or debris left in front of a house.
Serious slip-and-fall injuries such as injuries to the hips, back and head may mean you are off work for weeks or even months.
If you weren’t to blame for the accident and it happened anywhere away from your own home, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. Do not underestimate the full cost of medical bills and lost income.
Slippery Floors Are Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents can happen just about anywhere and usually take the victim unawares, which explains why many of these accidents lead to such serious injuries.
If you are aware of a potential hazard, you are unlikely to slip or trip over. It’s when you don’t expect a slippery surface you are most likely to get hurt.
Slippery floors are common causes of accidents. These could include:
- Recently waxed floors,
- Spilled oil in a parking lot,
- Spilled water or liquids in a supermarket,
- Wet floors in a public area,
- Rainwater collected because of poor drainage.
Injuries From A Slip and Fall Accident
A slip and fall because of a newly mopped or waxed floor can be serious. You will have medical expenses. You will want to hold the business responsible for the costs of your medical care that is necessary to treat your injuries.
You will also have lost wages because you will not be able to work while you are recovering from your injuries. If the injuries are severe enough, you may need medical care in the future and have future lost wages.
Some injuries may be disabling, so you may be unable to return to your regular position or to any job at all. In that case, you will want to be sure the long-term financial effect of the injury is considered when asking for your settlement.
If you have medical expenses, you will also have pain and suffering. A multiplier is used to determine your pain and suffering. Using that approach, a number ranging from 1 to 5 is used to multiply the total of the medical expenses. The worse the injury, the higher the multiplier.
As an example, a spinal injury or a back injury requiring surgery might lead to a multiplier of 5 while an injury such as a sprained wrist or twisted ankle just warrants a multiplier of 1.5.
Your personal injury attorney will determine which damages you have suffered and will determine a fair multiplier for your specific personal injury claim. There are various damages claimed in such situations, and here are some of the more common damages claimed after a slip and fall because of a freshly mopped or waxed floor:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
There is no set value for a slip and fall claim. The value can vary significantly from one accident to another. It is important for your case to enlist the help of a slip and fall attorney who is experienced in helping accident victims in such cases.
Your lawyer will be able to determine the long-term effects of the accident and consider future losses that you will experience because of the fall.
Slip-and-Fall Claims Depend on Proving Who Was At Fault
It is not enough just to suffer an injury after a slip-and-fall accident in a public place to make a claim for compensation. As the plaintiff, you have to prove who was responsible for the accident.
This isn’t easy. You must:
- Be able to show a clear link between the hazard and an employee, manager, supervisor or owner of the property you were using
- Be able to show that someone who knew about the hazard but either did nothing about it or did not sufficiently warn members of the public about it
- Show a clear link between the hazard that has been identified and your injuries
It Is Best to Act As Soon as You Can
If you slipped and fell over due to a hazard on private property, you may have two to three years or more to make a personal injury claim, depending on the state’s statute of limitation laws, but in reality you need to bring the case to the attention of an attorney much sooner than that.
It is likely that the hazard, whatever it was, would be cleared away quite quickly and yet evidence of a hazard is so useful to support your claim.
If you are able to do so, take some photos, even if it is with your cell phone of the accident area if you have an accident and exchange contact details with anyone who saw the accident happen.
Fault Laws Can Affect a Claim
Each state has slightly different liability laws and may impose strict conditions on proving negligence. In some states, if you were in any way to blame for an accident, you may not be able to make a claim at all, while in other states, a decision will be made about how much you were at fault and how much someone else or several other people were at fault.
If your claim was successful, you may then get a percentage of the full claim.
In any event, because of the complexity off the law and the need for proving negligence, it makes sense to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim for compensation.
An experienced lawyer will be able to assess the circumstances of your accident before you launch a claim and help in collecting evidence in order to calculate a fair claim and negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s insurer.
Consult With A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a slip and fall at a business because of a freshly mopped or waxed floor, you should enlist the help of an accident injury attorney who handles such claims in your state.
When you have a slip and fall lawyer representing you, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages. Your lawyer will review the details of your case, determine which damages you suffered, and calculate the value of your claim.
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