A woman who became injured in a slip and fall accident in a restaurant was awarded over $1.1 million in damages in 2019. While both sides were at the briefing stage of their appeals, they decided to settle for just over $1 million. The victim of the slip-and-fall case suffered a head injury and a shoulder injury that required surgery after she slipped and fell on a wet staircase in a diner.
The victim and her husband had gone to the diner for a late-night meal when she tumbled head over heels down a wet staircase, changing her entire life. This case reminds us that slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, and none of us is safe from dangerous property conditions. Indeed, staircases and wet flooring are among the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in Alabama and throughout the United States.
Slip and Fall Accidents Can Happen Anywhere
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of emergency room visits in the United States. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere in Alabama, from a wet sidewalk to an office building. Nobody expects to become seriously injured in an Alabama slip and fall accident, and even people who use caution when walking can become injured by dangerous property conditions.
Dangerous Surface Conditions
There are three main categories of slip and fall accidents. The most common cause of slip and fall accidents include dangerous surface conditions, such as:
- Recently waxed or mopped floors
- Uneven floor surfaces with no warning signs
- Loose mats, floorboards, or stair steps
- Parking lot potholes
- Spilled liquids or other slippery substances that are not cleaned up quickly
- Spilled oil or grease that is not cleaned up quickly
- Icy sidewalks and pathways that have not been adequately salted
Environmental Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Environmental conditions can also cause dangerous slip and fall accidents, such as:
- Bright lights that reflect on a shiny floor and cause a dangerous glare
- Debris, trash, or other items on the floor where people commonly walk
- Low lighting makes it difficult to walk safely and see obstacles
- Electrical cords that run across walkways
- Open cabinets or desk drawers
- An uneven transition from one flooring type to another, such as from wood to carpet
Falling on Staircases and Ladders
Many people who suffer a severe slip and fall injuries slip and fall off of ladders and on staircases under the following conditions:
- Using a piece of furniture as a ladder
- The failure of a person holding the ladder to do so safely
- An employer failing to provide safe ladders
- Rushing to take more than one step at a time
- Narrow and dangerous staircases without handrails
- Requiring an employee without experience to use a tall ladder
- Staircases without enough lighting to use them safely
- Staircases with treads that are too narrow or too wide
- Staircases with broken or uneven treads
Slip and Fall Accidents are the Leading Cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many Americans become injured in a slip and fall accident at some point in their lives, and the injuries range from moderate to severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately 32,000 unintentional fall deaths every year in the United States. Over 800,000 patients need to be hospitalized every year for fall injuries, often because of head injuries and hip fractures. In the United States, slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, which can have a life-long impact on the victim.
What to Do After an Alabama Slip and Fall Accident
Nobody expects to be seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, and it can be challenging to know what to do afterward. However, the steps you take immediately after an accident can help you protect your rights and your claim for compensation.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the first things you should do is seek medical treatment by calling 911. Ask the dispatcher to send medical help, even if you are not sure whether your injuries are severe. In many cases, the adrenaline caused by the slip and fall accident can mask the severity of your injuries. By going to a doctor or the hospital to undergo a thorough medical examination, you will get a clear understanding of the nature of your injuries. Receiving a thorough medical evaluation will also help your legal case.
Report the Slip and Fall Accident
After you seek medical attention, you will need to report the slip and fall accident on another person’s property. If you slipped and fell at a business location, tell the business owner or manager what happened in writing. We recommend consulting with an attorney before you notify the business to prepare a statement that does not unintentionally admit fault. Stick to the facts when you submit your report and avoid discussing fault or providing any details that are not necessary. Doing so will help your legal claim going forward.
As soon as you become injured, it is crucial that you keep all of the documentation related to your slip and fall accident. If you were able to take pictures at the scene of the accident, keep those pictures. Keep all of the summary visits from your doctors and therapists, as well. Your lawyer can help you request video surveillance footage to hold as evidence for your case. Video footage and pictures can help you identify any slippery or dangerous surfaces on the floor, lack of warning signs, uneven flooring, and jagged carpet, or loose debris in the area.
Contact an Alabama Slip And Fall Lawyer
One of the most important things you can do to protect your claim to compensation is to contact an Alabama slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. At Heninger Garrison Davis, We will help you navigate the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company or defendant. If necessary, we will take your case to court. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.