Falls are the leading cause of personal injury in the US and Florida is no exception. One million people are sent to the emergency room, or the doctor, nationwide due to an injury sustained in a fall. These injuries can range from minor, such as skinned hands and knees, to severe, such as traumatic brain injury and broken bones. They may also lead to death in some cases. The older a person is the more dangerous even a simple fall can be. Nursing home accidents and treacherous walking surfaces are leading causes of injury to aging Americans.
There are many circumstances that can lead to a person falling and injuring themselves. When only the major possibilities are listed it becomes apparent how injury can be lurking almost anywhere in environments that should be considered safe under normal circumstances. Many slip or trip and fall injuries are caused by negligence of a third party and a leading cause of personal injury lawsuits. Here are the major causes of slip or trip and fall injuries in Florida.
- Slick or uneven surfaces – Dangerous walking conditions account for 55% of all slip and fall accidents according to a study by the National Floor Safety Institute. These hazards can have many causes including clutter left on floors, defective or damaged sidewalks and parking lots, floors that are wet from mopping, waxing or spills and torn or buckled carpeting. Defective or poorly marked steps or stairs may also cause a serious fall.
- Weather – No one can control the weather but it is the responsibility of property owners and managers to be sure the weather does not create avoidable hazards. Ice and snow are not generally a Florida problem but heavy rain certainly is. Entrances to stores and other locations can become suddenly slick from a heavy rainfall. Protective skid mats or corrugated surfaces will prevent many falls in these areas. Potholes in parking areas fill with water and become an invisible hazard, during and immediately following a storm. Improper materials used in constructing outdoor stairs and walks may lead to serious injury when wet.
- Work Related Falls – Construction areas are often studded with trip and fall hazards such as loose temporary walkways, cables and wires, debris left in foot traffic areas. These are only a few of the traps that await the unsuspecting worker. Proper training could greatly reduce the number of these accidents.
- Defective Footwear – Many types of footwear, from boat shoes to sneakers and work boots, do not provide the soles required for proper traction. These inferior products are responsible for many slip and fall accidents at home, at work or in public places.
- Nursing Home Neglect – Seniors are at a greater risk than the rest of the population as their balance decreases, along with their eyesight, with aging. They are also more likely to receive a life threatening injury such as a broken hip from a fall that would not likely injure a younger person. Without proper supervision and safety measures in place, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be seriously injured by a fall.
Successful litigation of a lawsuit for injuries received in a slip or trip and fall accident can be difficult. Negligence must be proven to a jury that can often be skeptical due to the possibility of a case being fraudulent as a few are. The personal injury attorney not only must prove that the injury was due to the neglect of another but also that the injury really exists to the degree being claimed and was not the result of another accident the happened earlier or later. An experienced slip and fall attorney will generally provide second or third opinion from medical experts. The defendant’s attorney will insist on an exam by their own medical expert. The two opinions will almost always be contradictory. Most jurors are aware of the bias of the defendant’s expert witness and take that into consideration.
If you are injured in a fall, anywhere, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. The medical record is like a date stamp on a picture. It coordinates the time frame when the injury occurred and prevents the insurance company from claiming it occurred elsewhere. Dolman Law Group has the experience of successfully claiming large cash settlements for countless victims of Florida slip or trip and fall injuries. If you or someone you care for was injured in a fall, and believe it was due to negligence, call Dolman Law Group today. It costs nothing to speak to a skilled personal injury attorney for a professional evaluation of your case. You may be entitled to a large cash settlement for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering. Call today while evidence is not obscured and the facts are still clear.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765