Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Louisiana Premise Liability Team
According to the CDC, more than one million Americans suffer a slip and fall injury each year, with as many as 17,000 deaths attributed to these slip and falls. Job-related injuries are typically made up of at least 15 percent slip and fall accidents. While elevated falls usually result in more severe injuries, slip and fall injuries can also be quite serious. About one out of every five slip and fall injuries result in a broken bone (among the elderly, hip fractures are common) or a head injury. When a slip and fall causes a broken bone or fracture, it can make it difficult for the victim of the fall to accomplish everyday tasks, go to work, or, in some cases, even live independently.
When a slip and fall causes a head injury, the aftermath can be extremely serious, particularly if the individual is taking certain medications (like blood thinners), or if the individual is elderly. Even when a person does not suffer severe injuries from a slip and fall, the fall may cause them to become afraid of falling, leading them to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, their body becomes weaker, increasing their chance of another slip and fall, and a vicious cycle occurs. The CDC estimates 20-30 percent of those who suffer a slip and fall will have moderate to severe injuries which can inhibit mobility, hamper independent living and make it difficult, if not impossible, to return to work.
If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall while on someone else’s property—or at work—you may be entitled to recover damages such as medical bills, rehab expenses, prescription drug costs, lost wages due to time away from work, and even pain and suffering. An experienced Hoffoss Devall personal injury attorney is the right ally following a slip and fall with injuries. A knowledgeable slip and fall injury lawyer from Hoffoss Devall could well be the only thing standing between you and an unscrupulous insurance company who is determined to keep you from receiving just compensation for your slip and fall.
Causes of Slip and Falls
Slip and falls are primarily the results of a slippery surface; the heel of the front foot can engage with the slippery surface, forcing a fall backward, or the rear foot can slip backward, applying a force that pushes the body forwards. The majority of slip and falls which occur in a public place occur in grocery stores, fast food, and other restaurants, shopping malls, restrooms, big box stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowe’s, on sidewalks, stairs and escalators and even in elevators. Some of the most common hazards which lead to a slip and fall include:
- A floor which has a spilled substance;
- A recently mopped floor;
- A recently waxed floor;
- A floor with uneven surfaces;
- A floor with a loose rug or mat;
- A loose floorboard on stairs;
- Potholes in a parking lot;
- Grease or oil in a parking lot;
- Spilled grease or other oily substance near a restaurant kitchen;
- Icy surfaces;
- A floor covered in trash or debris;
- Poor lighting which makes it difficult to see obstacles;
- Poor lighting in a stairwell;
- Electrical or Internet cords running across a walkway;
- A sudden transition from one-floor surface to another with no warning;
- A high threshold, or
- The lack of handrails on a stairway,
Why File a Lawsuit for a Slip and Fall?
One of the primary reasons you would file a slip and fall claim is to recoup the expenses for your slip and fall accident. You may have a significant amount of medical expenses, some of which are expected to continue for a length of time. You may have to undergo rehabilitative therapy in order to be able to return to your “normal” life. You may be unable to return to your job because of your slip and fall injuries—for a short length of time, a longer period of time, or even forever. If you have been forced to take time away from your job due to your injuries—or have even lost your job as a result of your slip and fall accident—then these expenses can potentially be recovered through a premises liability lawsuit.
If you are unable to work because of your slip and fall injuries, you may have regular monthly expenses you are unable to pay. If the injury left you with extensive pain and suffering, you may also be entitled to recover for this pain and suffering as a part of your premise liability claim. Having an experienced Hoffoss Devall slip and fall injury lawyer fighting for your rights during this difficult time can make a definite difference in the outcome of your claim. There are specific procedures which should be followed after a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of another, including:
- See Your Doctor—As with any accident, the very first thing you attend to should be your health. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you are unsure whether you are seriously hurt. Slip and fall accidents often cause injuries to the neck, shoulders, back, knees or muscle and ligaments. In more severe cases, these falls can also cause spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Many times, the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are relatively subtle and may not immediately be apparent. If you hit your head in the fall, prompt medical evaluation and treatment is imperative. If you do not see a doctor immediately following your slip and fall, then later realize you were actually hurt more seriously than you thought, this could make it more difficult for your slip and fall injury attorney to secure an equitable settlement on your behalf. The defendants in the case may claim you were not actually injured in the slip and fall, rather made up your injuries later for the sole purpose of collecting a large settlement. No matter how you feel immediately following the accident, seek medical attention.
- Have Someone Take Photographs of the Scene—This can be critical to the success of your slip and fall claim. If you are unable to take photographs because you are injured from the slip and fall, try to get a friend or relative, or even a sympathetic bystander, to take photographs of the scene of your accident from a variety of angles and distances in order to properly document the accident scene. If you do not have photographs of the scene immediately following your accident, you may not be able to prove that hazardous conditions actually caused your slip and fall. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so do your best to obtain photographs of your accident. In addition to photographs, if you, or someone with you, is able to get witness statements that document the specific hazard that caused your fall, your case will be much stronger.
- Keep a file with all the details of your accident—As soon as you are home and physically able, begin writing down everything you remember about your slip and fall accident. Write down anything and everything—a detail you may not think is all that important could be very important to the success of your slip and fall claim. Keep a file folder with your accident details as well as all medical expenses related to your slip and fall.
Getting Help from a Hoffoss Devall Slip and Fall Injury Attorney
A personal injury attorney can evaluate your case thoroughly, investigate the scene of the accident, collect any pertinent evidence, track down witnesses and obtain the necessary testimony regarding the dangerous conditions present at the scene. You are not automatically able to seek and recover damages resulting from your injury just because you sustained injuries. You must prove the property owner was cognizant of the hazards, had time to address the problem and failed to take appropriate action to correct the problem or warn people of the hazards. A knowledgeable Hoffoss Devall personal injury attorney understands every aspect of a slip and fall injury, working hard to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Follow the standard procedure following a slip and fall—then call your Lake Charles Hoffoss Devall premise liability lawyers at (337) 433-2053 or contact the Hoffoss Devall attorneys online.