Thousands of people slip or trip and fall each year due to the negligence of public and private property owners. Property owners have an obligation to take reasonable steps to keep their property in a safe condition.
When a person is severely injured because a property owner failed to take basic measures to remedy a slippery surface, adequately light a stairway, repair a sidewalk or driveway, or safely maintain a construction site, holding the property owner responsible can be a challenging task. People who have never suffered a fall often do not understand or appreciate that it can result in very severe injuries, loss of income, medical expenses and other losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in this manner, it is imperative that you consult experienced lawyers, like Porter Nordby Howe LLP, who can explain the legal aspects of these claims and take steps to secure the maximum allowable compensation for the injuries and other losses you have suffered.
Property Owners are Obligated to Protect Others from Suffering an Injury
Ice and snow are obvious hazards all property owners are required to manage and prevent, but other hazards that lead to slips and falls are not as obvious. Common hazards found within private residences include throw rugs that are not affixed to the floor to minimize slippage. Guests taking a bath or shower can also slip and fall if non-slip surfaces are not present. Even when precautions are taken, throw rugs can still be a risk. Customers in stores have been known to catch garments in the mechanisms of escalators, causing falls with serious injuries. Because of the vast number of circumstances that can create a slip and fall hazard, it’s important that anyone who suffers an injury due to a fall contact the legal team at Porter Nordby Howe LLP for a legal evaluation of the incident and to determine if actions are recommended to recover damages.
Dealing With the Aftermath of a Slip and Fall Incident
Slips and falls can and often do cause serious injuries and permanent disabilities. As with any other type of accident, victims must first be concerned with their personal health. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention even if a fall does not immediately seem serious. Many injuries do not manifest their full extent immediately. This is especially true with soft tissue injuries like certain neck and back injuries. It is extremely important to seek treatment for any injury as soon as practicable. Whenever possible, carefully document the conditions present which caused the accident, and as soon as possible after the accident. If injured, ask others to photograph the scene and get the names of any witnesses. Gathering this type of information and keeping a record of all events surrounding the accident will be helpful for legal actions to recover whatever damages to which you are entitled.
Discuss the Accident with an Attorney Before Making Any Statements
Slip and fall accidents are frequently traumatic. While serious injuries are quite common, the aftermath of an incident often results in many other problems. Victims not only have to deal with obtaining immediate medical attention, but physical or occupational therapy is often necessary as part of the recovery process. Insurance company representatives generally approach slip and fall victims soon after an incident and attempt to coerce victims to settle a claim quickly and/or make statements against their interest. Generally, it is not advisable to accept any quick money type settlement, for the long-term ramifications of an injury may not manifest themselves until many weeks or months following the incident.
Even a victim’s livelihood may be threatened after a slip and fall accident. Some injuries prevent victims from returning to their jobs, and re-training for a new career may be necessary. Settling too soon means the victim will not be able to recover any costs for retraining and/or the wages lost as a result of not being able to work. In addition, if the new career doesn’t offer the same income potential and growth as the old one, the legal team at Porter Nordby Howe LLP will work diligently to recover damages to compensate for that loss of income. With proper legal assistance, slip and fall accident victims can recover financially as well as physically.