We’ve all laughed at scenes of actors falling on TV and in the movies, but when it happens to us or to people we care about, it’s not funny. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 20 percent of slip and fall accidents end up resulting in a month or more of time missed time from work, not to mention the injuries and pain and suffering experienced by the victims. Slip and fall injuries are particularly dangerous for children and the elderly, many of whom have osteoporosis and are more likely to break bones. If you’ve recently had a serious slip and fall incident and firmly believe that the responsibility rests with your landlord, your employer, a business owner or the management of a public facility (like a courthouse or a playground), the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Brotherly Law may be able to help.
If you’ve fallen at work, while shopping or crossing an icy parking lot, or any number of other ways, there are laws to help you receive the compensation you deserve. And you’re not alone: at least 1,000,000 Americans have significant falls each year, with about 300,000 of those falls resulting in injuries that are disabling, sometimes temporarily, but in other instances over the long-term. When you sit down with our attorneys for a free consultation – at our offices, your home, office or even hospital room – we’ll investigate the details of your accident to see if you have solid grounds for legal action. Don’t assume the accident was your fault or “no one’s fault” without seeking counsel!
How large a problem are slip and fall injuries? They’re the single largest cause of workers’ compensation claims, especially among employees 55 and older. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, while falls are not the top cause of workplace fatalities, they are the leading causes of days missed from work; falls account for several million emergency room visits each year, with those classified as “slip and falls” making up more than a million visits.
Danger lurks when we walk outside our doors, with thousands of slip and fall accidents taking place in places some of us visit every week or even every day – the grocery store or supermarket; diners, fast-food joints and even nice restaurants; shopping malls, especially mall food courts. And while stairs and escalators do contribute to accidents, most slip and fall injuries occur on flat surfaces that are slipper, wet, uneven, etc.
Again, while stairs, ramps, inclines and escalators can be dangerous, remember that two-thirds of slip & fall accidents occur on flat surfaces. So even if your injury occurred while you were “just walking along,” the owner of the building or property where you fell could be liable.
Common causes of falls include poorly anchored rugs and floor mats, wrinkled carpeting, excessive clutter, cables/cords left uncovered, oily or extremely wet surfaces (this can include many types of spills or floors that have been mopped or waxed and not marked off), as well as unplowed snow, black ice and other weather-related hazards that property owners are responsible for removing.
Property owners need to be held responsible for maintaining a safe environment for residents, visitors, workers or anyone walking through open space and for clearly marking areas as unsafe when they’re being cleaned, when repairs are underway or when the area is otherwise dangerous.
What must the property owner have done – or not done – to be liable for our slip and fall injuries. First, if the owner or one of his or her workers caused or knows about a spill, torn carpet, loose floorboards, uneven floor surface or other dangerous surface—but doesn’t take steps to fix the problem or cordon off the area, they may be liable for your injuries.
In some cases, clients have received settlements when judges or juries determined that, as a reasonable person, the landlord/property owner was at fault because they “should have known” about the problem and done something about it.
If you’ve been injured at work due to a slip and fall accident, remember to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you’ve been injured in a public space (indoors or outdoors) and believe the property owner was at fault, be sure to file a police report and keep track of all your medical records, take photos of the injury site and fully document the conditions that led to your accident. Time is of the essence when filing these claims, so contact the experienced Philadelphia-based slip and fall lawyers at Brotherly Law to discuss your fall, your injuries and begin the process of building your case. Your initial consultation is free, so contact us online or call us now at (215) 545-8500.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.