Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Helping Individuals Injured In Slip And Fall Accidents
Almost everyone has slipped and fallen at some point in their lives. Often these falls simply result in short-lived embarrassment and you are able to go on with your day as normal. However, in other situations, fall victims can suffer serious injuries that require extensive treatment and have a significant effect on their lives.
The experienced Philadelphia slip and fall accident attorneys at The Levin Firm are committed to helping seriously injured slip and fall victims recover for the losses they suffered. Please do not hesitate to call our office today at 215-825-5183 to discuss your case if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident.
Common Slip And Fall Injuries
Slip and falls can cause a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common include the following:
- Broken Bones – Broken bones, or bone fractures, occur when there is break in the continuity of the bone structure. There are many types of broken bones, and the required treatment can range from invasive surgery to simple rest. When a person falls, they can strike the ground with significant force, potentially causing a bone fracture. In some cases, broken bones can result in disfigurement of a body part or unsightly scarring.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when a bump or jolt to the head results in a disruption of normal brain function. The most common and least severe type of TBI is a concussion, which itself has the potential to cause serious complications. More severe TBIs can result in significant issues such as cognitive problems, issues with communication and speech, emotional problems, and impairment of a person’s motor skills.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, involve an injury to a person’s spinal cord. In many cases, trauma to the spinal column results in secondary injury or pressure to the spinal cord. As the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and injury to it can result in significant complications. Spinal cord injuries can leave victims with paralysis, muscle weakness, lack of mobility, and issues with skin sensation.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft tissue injuries occur when there is damage to a person’s ligaments, muscles, or tendons. Common examples of soft tissue injuries include bruises, sprains, strains, stress injuries, and tendonitis. They have the potential to cause pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function.
These and other injuries that people can sustain in slip and fall accidents can leave people with significant medical expenses. In addition, victims may be unable to return to work for an extended period of time, if at all.
As you can imagine, many of these injuries require extensive and long-term medical treatment and may require hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitative therapy, medications, medical equipment, home health care, residence in an assisted living facility, and more. Some slip and fall victims are never able to fully recover from their injuries and are left with permanent disabilities. Furthermore, approximately 25,000 people die as a result of fall accidents each year, making falls the second-leading cause of accidental fatalities in the United States.
Slip and fall accidents also often require people to miss work or limit their regular activities as a result of their injuries. Falls can have an especially severe effect on the lives of older adults, as they often suffer broken hips or similar injuries that can result in many complications and challenges. In 2013, more than 700,000 adults age 65 or older required extended hospitalization following a fall. Many of these adults were never able to return to independent living after their accident.
Whether your slip and fall causes a broken bone or a life-changing spinal cord injury, you may incur losses that significantly affect your life. Any type of medical treatment will result in bills, time from work can result in lost wages, and injury-related impairments can keep you from participating in your usual life activities. Whether your injury heals over time or you have permanent effects, your losses can still disrupt your life. Exploring legal options for compensation can provide relief for you and your household and cover your financial losses.
Negligence Can Lead To Slips, Trips, And Falls
Many people injured in slip and fall accidents wonder: Who can be held responsible for my fall? The law gives accident victims the right to hold parties liable for their losses when that party’s negligence caused or contributed to the fall. At The Levin Firm, our slip and fall attorneys know how to identify when someone else’s negligence resulted in your fall and can advise you when you have the right to hold that party liable for your injuries.
Negligence occurs when a party breaches a duty of care owed to an accident victim. Business and property owners have the legal responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe for customers and other types of visitors. This includes regularly inspecting the premises to identify and repair any potentially dangerous conditions. If a property owner allows a hazard to exist and you slip and fall, that owner likely breached their duty of care and should have to compensate you for any losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.
The following are some common examples of negligence that often lead to slip and fall accidents:
- Objects, furniture, or debris in walkways
- Liquid spills that are not cleaned up in a timely manner
- Wet or slippery floors with no proper warning sign
- Overly worn carpet or tile
- Uneven flooring surfaces
- Broken or inadequate handrails
- Loose or broken stairs
- Electrical cords that are not secured to the walls
- Area rugs that easily slip
If a property owner allows any such conditions to exist on the premises and you slip, trip, or fall, you deserve fair compensation for all of your losses. Additionally, even if a property owner did not know about the condition, they may be held liable if they should have discovered it through proper inspections. Claiming ignorance of a hazard is not an adequate defense if the hazard had existed for long enough that the property owner should have known about it and addressed it.
In some situations, it is not possible for a property owner or business to immediately eradicate a hazard or the risk of slip and fall accidents. If this is the case, proper warning should be given to all visitors and customers that a risk exists and they should use proper caution. A common example of this occurs when a business mops the floors, which will not dry immediately. The business should put out signs that clearly state that the floor is wet so that customers know to be careful or avoid those areas. If a business fails to give necessary warnings, it can be found negligent and liable for the losses of any slip and fall victims.
Because so many different forms of negligence can be involved in slip and fall accidents, it can be difficult to know whether your fall was the result of a negligent act or omission. The best way to understand your legal rights after a slip and fall is to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney who can evaluate what happened.
Can You Collect On A Slip & Fall Injury?
In order to collect, you must prove that someone else acted in a negligent manner. Businesses and property owners have the duty to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition, which includes identifying any possible hazards and repairing them in a timely manner to keep customers and visitors from getting hurt.
The following are some examples of negligence that can allow a slip and fall victim to collect:
- Allowing floors to stay wet without proper warning signs
- Having slippery flooring surfaces
- Putting boxes or objects in walkways
- Allowing debris to remain on the floor
- Having electrical cords or other cords loose across walkways
There are many other acts that can cause you to slip and fall. An experienced attorney can review what happened and advise you whether you can collect from a negligent party. In addition, it is important to have a lawyer determine the value of your case so you know how much you have the right to collect.
Holding Negligent Property Owners Responsible For Their Actions
An experienced slip and fall lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding your fall and identify any signs of negligence to determine whether you have a viable legal claim. A legal case gives you the opportunity to adequately recover for the following and more:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment, hospital stays, follow-up and specialist appointments, medical supplies, and more
- Lost wages and benefits from missed work or a lost job
- Physical suffering and pain
- Emotional distress from the effects of your injuries
- Permanent disabilities
- Loss of quality of life
The amount of compensation you may recover will depend on your specific circumstances and the nature and severity of your injuries. This value can differ significantly from case to case. Damages can be challenging to calculate, especially in cases involving long-term injuries and disabilities that significantly change your life. It is important to have a law firm with the resources to accurately calculate your damages, which may include the assistance of economical, occupational, or medical experts.
Stating your claim of negligence and your damages may not be enough for your claim to succeed, however. In most cases, you will be required to present evidence to support both the defending party’s negligence and the amount of damages stemming from the accident. The right attorney will have the knowledge and resources necessary to gather sufficient evidence to support your claim to insurance companies, during litigation, or in court. Such evidence may involve witness reports, surveillance video, inspection reports by experts, medical records, and much more. While you are focusing on your physical recovery from your injuries, a lawyer at The Levin Firm can be working to make sure you also receive the maximum possible amount of financial recovery for your claim.
Steps That Home And Business Owners Can Take To Reduce The Risk Of Slip And Fall Accidents
Fortunately, there are certain steps that people can take to reduce their risk of being involved in a slip and fall accident. These steps include the following:
- Immediately clean up liquid spills
- Stay away from and clearly mark freshly mopped floors
- Make sure that all electrical cords are secured and moved away from high-traffic areas
- Store items that are frequently used in easily reachable places
- Wear shoes that have good support and slip-resistant soles
- Arrange furniture in such a way as to provide ample room for walkways
- Remove all tripping hazards from stairs or walkways
- Provide adequate lighting
- Make sure that exterior walkways are free from debris
- Replace or fix torn carpet
- Make sure that all stairways have handrails
- Repair uneven or broken steps
- Make sure that all rugs have non-slip backing or double sided tape affixing them to the floor
- Install handrails in bathrooms, particularly for older adults
By taking these steps, people can reduce the risk that they, their loved ones, or their guests will be injured in a slip and fall accident due to a hazardous condition. In the event that you or someone else is involved in a slip and fall accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In many cases, early medical intervention can lead to a much better outcome, particularly for serious injuries.
Handling Your Slip And Fall Claim
After a slip and fall, you may not know where to start when it comes to taking legal action. First and foremost, you should worry about getting the medical treatment you deserve. Then, you should contact a law firm that can handle every aspect of your claim to allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back to life as usual whenever possible.
In many cases, our firm begins by filing a claim on our client’s behalf with the insurance company of the negligent party. This could be a claim under a company’s general liability policy or someone’s property insurance. Insurance claims can differ significantly depending on the nature of the policyholder, but all too often insurance companies try to avoid liability and limit payments to the absolute minimum.
For example, well-known big-box stores are common places for people to slip and fall. As a result, these store chains often have their own subsidiary company that handles insurance claims just for its stores. The entire subsidiary company is completely dedicated to limiting costs and liability for the big-box stores, including liability arising from customers injured in slip and fall accidents. Filing a claim is not a simple process and will likely involve numerous delays and challenges along the way.
First, insurance adjusters often try to gain your trust in an attempt to do one or more of the following:
- Give a recorded statement – An adjuster will often state that giving a recorded statement is needed to help your claim. In reality, you have no obligation to give such a statement and doing so can often help the adjuster limit your settlement offer. They may interpret statements you make to help challenge the extent of your losses or allege you were partially liable for the fall. An attorney will understand what types of statements or comments may be used against you in your case and can handle communications with the insurance company in your favor.
- Believe you do not need an attorney – It is no surprise that insurance companies want you to handle your claim on your own without legal representation. They may tell you that your claim will be straightforward and that you do not need a lawyer when they tend to take advantage of unrepresented claimants who are unfamiliar with the insurance process. It is always wise to discuss any injury-related insurance claim with a lawyer who thoroughly understands the tactics of insurance companies.
- Get you to accept the first settlement offer – When you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you generally also waive your right to seek additional payment stemming from your slip and fall down the line. All too often, people may believe a settlement amount sounds reasonable, only to later discover it was grossly inadequate and they have no further options. You should always have a lawyer evaluate any settlement offer before you accept, as your lawyer can work to negotiate a fair amount.
An attorney will also be able to recognize when you will not receive the compensation you deserve through an insurance claim alone. Further legal action can be taken by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. This process involves the discovery of evidence, settlement negotiations, and a possible trial if needed. The Levin Firm will not shy away from litigation when necessary to fully protect your rights.
Contact An Experienced Philadelphia Slip And Fall Lawyer For A Free Consultation Today
If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident due to a negligent property owner, you should never delay in calling a qualified personal injury attorney at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania law only gives injured victims a limited time to file a legal claim following your injuries, so if you delay a consultation with an attorney, you may risk losing the right to recover at all. These cases can also take time to investigate and prepare to give you the best chance at full compensation, so your first step after seeking proper medical attention should be to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.
At The Levin Firm, all consultations are always free and we do not collect a fee unless you win your case. We pride ourselves on providing high quality, individualized attention and zealously advocating for the rights of our clients injured in slip and fall accidents.
If you have suffered injuries due to a slip, trip, or fall, please do not hesitate to call our Philadelphia office at 215-825-5183 to find out how we can help you today.