Falls can have long-lasting consequences on your health and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are particularly prone to suffering severe and permanent injuries in falls.
We should not have to worry about hazards or dangers to our health when visiting a store or business. Business owners are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe for guests. However, not all do. Some store owners try to cut corners by neglecting essential maintenance or necessary staff training.
If someone else’s carelessness caused your injuries, you should not have to pay for their mistake. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you. Our experienced and tenacious personal injury lawyers could hold the responsible party accountable when you experience a slip and fall accident in a store or business. Get in touch now to find out for free whether you have a case.
Causes for Slip and Fall Accidents
Business and store owners are responsible for keeping their premises free of hazards to ensure that visitors and clients do not come to harm. A slip and fall accident can occur when an individual is hurt from slipping or tripping and falling due to a dangerous condition, such as:
- Raised or torn carpets
- Loose mats and rugs
- Holes or dips in the floor
- Missing handrails
- Broken or inadequate lighting
- Wet and slippery floors
- Broken or missing steps
- Ice and snow accumulations
- Cracks in sidewalks
- Electrical cables and other clutter on the floor
Victims often assume that a fall is their fault. However, this is not necessarily the case. Property owners sometimes ignore dangers instead of fixing them or warning customers, putting visitors at risk of suffering devastating injuries.
However, if your slip and fall accident occurred due to a store or business owner’s carelessness or recklessness, you could have a case and sue for damages. Consider speaking to a Morgan & Morgan slip and fall lawyer to determine whether you have a claim and could pursue compensation.
Businesses and Stores Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
Slips and falls can happen anywhere on private or public property, including the following stores and businesses:
Grocery stores, especially when busy, can be somewhat chaotic. Employees may not clean the floors and remove spillages as quickly as they should. Trips and falls can also occur if employees leave crates, boxes, or other items in the aisles.
Restaurants and Bars
Spillages of food and drink are common in busy restaurants and bars when staff is rushing around. Patrons could experience severe injuries when employees fail to clean up spills promptly.
Department stores can be cluttered, particularly during busy times. Packaging, cables, and merchandise may litter floors and walkways. Wet floors from mopping also present significant slip and fall hazards for customers when there are no warning signs.
Hotels and Resorts
Hotels and resorts can have numerous slipping and tripping hazards, including wet and slippery floors in reception areas, hallways, and pool areas. Moreover, hotel guests could also experience a slip or trip and fall due to leaking pipes or defective flooring in their rooms.
Other common premises where falls occur can include:
- Shopping malls
- Theme parks
- Nursing homes
Common Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents may result in little more than bruising, scrapes, or minor sprains. However, in some cases, severe falls can cause catastrophic, life-long, and even fatal injuries. Hitting the ground unexpectedly and suddenly due to a slip and fall can cause various significant injuries, such as:
Older adults are especially at risk of major bone fractures, such as the pelvis, in slip and fall accidents in stores and businesses. However, victims of all ages can potentially break bones in serious falls. While a minor fracture may heal with little medical intervention, breaking a large bone can cause health complications, high medical costs, and a long recovery.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Spinal cord damage from falls can include:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Nerve damage
- Herniated or slipped discs
- Severed spinal cord
In the worst cases, spinal cord injuries can lead to chronic pain, permanently limited mobility, and partial or complete paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBI can occur when a victim hits their head violently while falling. According to the Mayo Clinic, a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can cause torn tissues, bruising, and other physical brain damage. TBI can result in long-term health consequences, medical complications, or death.
Back and Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries can be common in slip and fall accidents and include sprains, strains, and tears in muscles and tendons. Whiplash, an injury typically associated with car accidents, can also occur due to the violent jolting of the head and neck in a fall.
Cuts and Lacerations
Falls on asphalt, broken glass, or debris can cause severe abrasions and lacerations. Deep lacerations require prompt medical treatment as they can cause significant bleeding and harbor infections. Deep cuts can also damage muscles and nerves.
Facial and Dental Injuries
Injuries in falls can include cuts to the face due to hitting an object or the ground. Broken or loose teeth and other significant dental injuries can also occur in falls. Facial trauma such as a broken nose, broken jaw, or tooth loss can be painful and costly.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Victims
If you suffered harm due to a business or store owner’s careless or reckless conduct, you could be entitled to compensation, including:
If you got injured in a slip and fall and incurred costs such as medical bills and wage losses, you could be entitled to the following economic damages:
- Healthcare costs and future medical expenses
- Medical devices such as a wheelchair
- In-home healthcare
- Loss of income and expected future loss of earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Slip and fall victims may also qualify for non-economic damages intended to compensate them for the pain and life-changing nature of their fall injuries. You could be entitled to awards for:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Reduced life quality
- Permanent disfigurement
Knowing what you deserve after experiencing a slip and fall can be critical for recovering a comprehensive settlement. Our personal injury attorneys can determine what you are entitled to and move forward with a legal claim to fight for what you deserve.
Your Next Best Steps After a Slip and Fall
Protecting your health and legal rights can be essential after experiencing a slip and fall accident in a store or business. Your next best steps can include:
- Seeking medical help immediately
- Filing an accident report with the store or business
- Collecting the contact details of eyewitnesses
- Taking pictures of the accident scene and the cause of your fall
- Organizing statements and receipts of your medical bills and other costs
- Contacting a slip and fall attorney for advice and help