When you’re at a building or facility, you expect the premises to be safe. Walking surfaces should be even, clear, and secure to walk on. Wet areas should have clear markers and unsafe areas should be blocked from the public. Unfortunately, the owners of those places don’t always take care of their properties. In the legal world, falling accidents are often referred to as “slip and fall” accidents. If you’ve been injured in a falling accident on someone else’s property and you weren’t given warning, you may be able to seek legal with the help of a Louisville slip and fall lawyer.
It’s a simple fact that when property owners ignore regular upkeep and inspections, people can get hurt. These injuries can hinder or permanently change someone’s life. Owners can be held accountable for injuries that occur. This is an area of personal injury law we call premises liability law.
You might have experienced a situation like this and not know what to do next. Expensive medical bills and dealing with the injury would cause anyone stress and anxiety, but you don’t have to go through this alone. Thomas Law Offices in Kentucky are here to help. We understand the emotional and physical hardships you’re going through.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents occur when a property owner neglects to keep their surfaces clean, updated, and marked.
- Uneven Surfaces. Uneven paving or loose floorboards cause places for people to trip and hurt themselves.
- Surfaces Exposed to Weather. Surfaces exposed to the elements can get wet, slippery, or blocked with snow.
- Poor Maintenance/Construction. If structures aren’t regularly maintained or they were built poorly, then they will eventually become unstable and could lead to a slip and fall accident.
- Excess Debris/Clutter. When clutter, dirt, and trash accumulate on surfaces, they’re difficult to stay balanced on. People can trip or slide on the surface.
- Recently Cleaned Floors. If someone recently mopped or waxed a floor, it’s likely someone will fall if they walk on it. The floors require a Wet Floor sign so people know they need to walk carefully, but some places neglect to mark the area.
- Poor Lighting. Lightbulbs that are burnt out or areas that need more lighting in general are major spots for people to fall because they can’t see where they’re going.
Where Could Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Some areas are common for slip and fall accidents when they’re not taken care of. Always pay attention when you’re walking in these places:
- Parking Lots, Walkways, and Sidewalks. Inclement weather can cover these areas with ice and snow. You could trip because a parking lot is full of potholes.
- Entryways. You’ve seen the entrance to a mall when there’s bad weather around the holiday season. Everyone tracks in snow and sludge, and the entryway gets slippery and is often crowded.
- Poorly-Maintained Buildings. Poor construction means the structure will deteriorate over time. Railings could break or concrete stairs could crack.
- Pool Areas. The areas around the pool are a slip and fall risk because of the water and footwear. People usually wear flip-flops or no shoes at all, so they don’t have anything with traction.
- Torn Carpeting. Old carpets have holes or tears that make people trip. If a property owner knows a carpet on their property is torn, they need to replace it.
- Construction Sites. Construction managers might not have informed the workers on what they need to stay safe in the construction zone.
You encounter many of these areas a few times a day. If they’re not updated and properly maintained, you’re in danger of suffering a slip and fall injury.
What Are Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
Slip and fall accidents can lead to some serious injuries. They could potentially change the rest of your life or result in costly medical bills.
- Head Injuries. Hitting your head is one of the most dangerous injuries. You can have a concussion, swelling, or bleeding. A major traumatic brain injury could affect your cognition for the rest of your life. No matter how you’re feeling, you need immediate medical attention after a head injury.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. When you fall and hit your back or neck, you can damage your spinal cord. Severe spinal cord injuries often need expensive surgeries and you could possibly lose ability to walk or have chronic back pain.
- Sprains. When you fall, you might try to break the fall with your hand or twist an ankle, resulting in sprained wrists and ankles. This could prevent you from working or make it difficult to complete everyday tasks.
- Broken Bones. If the fall is worse, you could break a bone, which could prevent you from working for a long period of time.
- Cuts and Bruises. These might not be the most dangerous injuries, but they still hurt and take time to heal. Sometimes, the injury could require stitches.
Slip and fall accidents can severely harm the elderly. In 2014, about 29 million fall accidents with 7 million injuries occurred in the older adult population. Some injuries can be fatal. Elderly people with weak muscles or balance issues need safe, flat, and reliable surfaces. While caregivers, nurses, and the elderly all have tips to reduce the risk of falling accidents, they can’t dictate what property owners do.
How Can a Louisville Slip and Fall Lawyer Help?
Have you or a loved one been injured because of a slip and fall accident? Were you on someone else’s property and they didn’t make the area safe? You might be entitled to compensation.
Slip and fall claims have a statute of limitations in each state. In Kentucky, you have one year to file a lawsuit. If you decide to file a lawsuit, Thomas Law Offices will instruct you on how to proceed and gather evidence that will help your case. Witness information, medical reports, and photographs of the accident scene back up your claim.
Insurance companies might want you to settle or provide information that could potentially hurt your case, but you can communicate with the insurance companies through us. We’re a barrier that will help you protect your best interests.
Slip and fall accidents are preventable when property owners prioritize your safety and well-being. It’s not fair for you to sustain an injury and deal with the fallout on your own. Our skilled Kentucky slip and fall lawyers can ensure an unlawful property owner understands the laws and keeps their property safe for future visitors.
Don’t wait another day. Call us at (877) 955-7001 or send us a message and we’ll discuss how to get the legal support you deserve.