A slip and fall accident is just what it sounds like…you slip and fall, either backwards or forwards. There are more than 16,000 deaths every year from slip and fall accidents and one million serious injuries. In fact, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of death in the U.S.
A majority of slip and fall accidents happen because of hazardous environmental conditions – an icy sidewalk, a wet floor, a defect in the walking surface – which are often the result of poor maintenance or design, or neglect. They can occur anywhere – at someone’s home, in a grocery store, at an office or in a shopping mall.
Slip and fall accidents can become a legal case when a property owner has been negligent, failing to either maintain the property or creating unsafe conditions that lead to a slip and fall injury. Sometimes it is even enough if a property owner knew about an unsafe condition, but did not take any action to remedy it.
Most accidents that occur indoors happen in a supermarket or other commercial establishment and involve a foreign substance or object that has fallen from a shelf, or liquid from a broken bottle or other spill.
The store or property owner is responsible only for those substances and conditions he knew about or should have known about within a reasonable time period. The longer a foreign object or substance has been on the floor, the more likely the property owner can be held liable.
For cities with municipal sidewalk ordinances, the homeowner or business owner is responsible for clearing municipal sidewalks in front of the home or business. For suburbs without municipal-owned sidewalks, clearing the sidewalks is the responsibility of the abutting home or business owner.
What to Do if You Suffer a Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve suffered an injury because of a slip and fall accident, you need to first be sure to take care of your injury properly by seeking medical attention. If possible, take photos with your cell phone of the hazard that caused you to slip and fall. If you are unable to take a photo, ask someone nearby to do it for you.
You will need to report your slip and fall accident to the property owner or store manager immediately as well. If your accident occurred in a commercial establishment, an incident report should be filed and a copy obtained for your file.
Finally, contact a qualified personal injury attorney so you will be fully aware of all your rights and the actions that need to be taken to recover any potential damages owed to you.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident, our Texas personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.