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November 3, 2014

Falls Down stairs can Result in Serious Injuries and Substantial Recovery for Victims

fall down stairsThe National Safety Council (NSC) reports [1] that falls account for approximately 9 million emergency room visits each year. While falls can be dangerous in any setting, when they occur on stairs they can particularly serious. When a person falls while in a stairwell, they often fall much farther than they would have had they fallen on ground. In addition, falling on stairs often involves multiple points of impact between the victim and the stairs or floor. Consequently, the injuries that people sustain in stairwell falls can be extremely serious. Many victims whose accidents occurred on someone else’s property or because of faulty flooring or construction will be able to recover for their injuries and other losses, so it is important that they discuss their options with an attorney as soon as possible.

Injuries associated with falls down stairs

Like other accidents involving an unintentional fall, the injuries that victims can sustain can be extremely varied. Some of the more common include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruising
  • Sprains
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal injuries

When these injuries are serious, they may result in significant medical complications and emotional and physical pain. In some cases, victims may be unable to work and even develop disabilities that significantly affect their quality of life.

Negligence can cause stairwell accidents

In order for victims to successfully bring a legal claim, they need to be able to establish that their accident was the result of someone else’s negligence [2]. In the context of a stairwell fall case, negligence can take a variety of forms, but often includes the following:

  • Broken hand rails
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Holes or weaknesses in flooring
  • Torn carpet
  • Stairs that are too steep or narrow

Proving negligence can be a legally complicated issue, so anyone affected by a slip and fall accident should be certain to secure legal representation as soon as possible after an accident occurs. Furthermore, it is important that victims seek medical attention after a fall down stairs, even if they do not believe that they are injured or think their injuries are insignificant. Some complications associated with fall injuries may take hours or even days to arise, and seeing a medical professional will make sure that any injuries you have are identified and treated.

[1] http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/Pages/Falls.aspx

[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence

 

October 9, 2014

Can I Sue After a Nursing Home Fall?

nursing home fallAs the American population ages, more and more people will turn to nursing homes and other long-term facilities in order to meet their medical needs. Taking the step to personally move into an assisted living facility or moving your loved ones to one can be difficult, and it is important to make sure that the facility you choose meets your needs. Nursing homes are often designed and staffed in order to meet the needs of an elderly population, and generally speaking their residents receive high quality and professional care. While this is usually the case, every year thousands of people are injured in preventable accidents because of negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured in an nursing home incident, you should consult with one of our experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.

The prevention of falls is a significant issue for nursing homes designed for older adults, as demographically this group is at a substantially increased risk of falling. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1 out of every 3 adults over the age of 65 will fall in a given year. As a result, nursing homes owe their residents a duty to reasonable steps to minimize the risk of falls among their population.

Unfortunately, this does not always occur, and falls happen in Philadelphia on a daily basis. When these falls are the result of negligence on the part of a nursing home or its staff, victims may be able to recover by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Some ways in which a nursing home could negligently cause a fall include:

  • Wet floors
  • Debris of floor
  • Lack of handrails in stairs
  • Lack of handrails in bathrooms
  • Slippery flooring
  • Lack of supervision
  • Exposed electrical cords
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Torn carpet
  • Uneven flooring

 

October 1, 2014

What should I do if I was injured at an amusement park?

Amusement Park AccidentThe Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that approximately 8,800 people visit emergency rooms on an annual basis as the result of injuries sustained on amusement park rides.  Thousands more likely suffer minor injuries but do not seek medical attention.  Amusement park owners have the duty to ensure all rides and attractions are safe for guests, and should never allow patrons to ride inappropriate rides for their size, age, or health conditions.  If an amusement park does not take the necessary measures to keep guests safe, the park owners should be held accountable for their negligent actions. If you have been injured, always seek medical attention and then consult with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney to discuss a possible case.

Amusement park patrons most often suffer whiplash, spinal injuries, bone fractures, soft tissue damage, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, neck injuries or drowning scares on water rides. There are several common causes of injuries at amusement parks, which include:

  • Mechanical failures on rides, such as structural defects, malfunctioning restraints or brakes, or other problems due to lax maintenance of park rides can cause serious injuries and even death.
  • The nature of a ride, such as high G-forces or rapid spinning, can cause injuries such as hemorrhage, brain trauma, loss of consciousness, eye injuries, and more.
  • Employee errors commonly cause injuries.  Errors may include not properly securing passengers, abruptly stopping the ride at a dangerous point, overcrowding rides, or allowing inappropriate passengers to board the ride.
  • Passenger errors, such as failing to follow the operator’s instructions, detaching safety restraints or standing up in the middle of the ride, rocking the car on the track, and more.  Passenger errors or negligence can often cause injury to more people than just the offending rider.
  • Negligent supervision, which most often occurs in children’s areas or insufficient lifeguard supervision over pool areas.
  • Failing to meet federal safety standards for all tides.  The government regulates the safety of amusement parks and, if a park falls below safety standards, it will be found negligent if injury occurs.

September 18, 2014

Can I Sue after a Pool Injury in a Hotel?

swimming poolMany hotels in and around Philadelphia area have pools and hot tubs for the use of their guests. As fun and relaxing as water-based activities can be, they also involve an inherent risk of injury to participants. While some larger hotel pools may have lifeguards on duty, most hotel pools do not. As a result, injuries that people sustain in pool hotels or hot tubs can often be severe and victims may be unable to get the help they need. If the injury was a result of negligence on the part of the hotel or hotel staff, those affected can potentially recover for any economic and noneconomic losses they sustain by bringing a personal injury claim. One of the experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of The Levin Firm will be able to review the facts of your case and help you determine how to proceed.

As in any legal action arising out of a preventable accident, it is essential for the plaintiff to establish that the defendant was negligent in some way. In the context of a hotel pool or hot tub injury, there are ample opportunities for negligence of the part of the hotel. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Unreasonably slippery flooring
  • Lack of restricted access to children
  • Cracks or holes in the pool deck
  • Problems with pool construction
  • Violations of Pennsylvania regulations regarding hotel pools or hot tubs
  • Lack of proper pool maintenance
  • Debris or other items in or around the pool

There are many other ways a hotel could cause a pool injury, and anyone injured should discuss their case with an experienced lawyer. Pool injuries have the potential to be extremely serious, and can result in long-term medical complications. In situations where a person is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, victims may become cognitively impaired and may require around-the-clock medical care. Even in less serious cases, victims may be unable to work for some time and incur significant medical expenses.

 

August 29, 2014

Can I Sue after a Slip and Fall Accident in a Post Office?

local post officeData published by the National Safety Council (NSC) indicates that slip and fall accidents are responsible for 8.9 million emergency department visits per year. These incidents can happen almost anywhere and are capable of causing a wide variety of injuries, some of which can result in long-term complications. When slip and fall accidents occur on property owned or maintained by the government, victims may be able to obtain compensation by filing a personal injury claim. It is important to note, however, that legal claims against the government are subject to special legal rules, so it is highly advisable for people injured in slip and falls that occurred on government property to consult with an experienced attorney.

With their often busy environments, slip and fall accidents can easily occur at post offices around the Philadelphia area. As federal property, any legal claim after a post office accident would need to be asserted against the federal government, which is immune from lawsuits unless specifically authorized by law. Fortunately for victims, the Federal Tort Claims Act does exactly that, but the procedure for filing such a claim is significantly different than in other types of claims not involving the federal government. For one, an injured party may not simply go to the courthouse and initiate a claim. Instead, he or she must first file an administrative claim with the post office. If the post office ultimately denies the claim, you may file a lawsuit against the post office, but you must do so within 6 months of the denial of your administrative claim or will lose your right to sue.

There are many types of conditions that may result in a post office slip and fall, some of which may indicate negligence on the part of postal employees. Some the more common include the following:

  • Liquid spills
  • Debris on floors
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Failure to warn about a slippery surface
  • Unreasonable accumulations of snow or ice in or around entryways

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