Unexpected Dangers of Slip and Fall Accidents

man slipping near wet floor sign
From the earliest Vaudeville skits to modern-day cartoons, slip and falls have been an amusing comedy staple with slapstick routines like slipping on a banana peel. As a comedy routine, falls provide a surprise factor that often causes others to laugh out loud. However, in real life, slip and fall (or trip and fall) accidents are no joking matter.

Severe injuries can occur anytime someone loses their balance and takes an unexpected tumble. In fact, medical bills in the United States total in the double-digit billions each year. Although baby boomers account for the largest group injured or killed by falls nationwide, accidental falls are not limited to elderly shoppers slipping on a wet spot at the local grocery store. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over eight million emergency room visits annually.

What can happen after a slip and fall?

Most falls do not cause a serious injury. In fact, slip and fall victims who are not seriously injured often embarrassingly scamper to their feet while declaring “I’m not hurt”. Nonetheless, whether at home, on the job, or at the store, 20% of slip and fall accidents result in serious injury, and accidental falls account for thousands of deaths each year. Common injuries can include:

  • Sprained Joints – Muscles, ligaments, and tendons are often hyperextended during an unexpected fall.
  • Broken Bones – Five percent of slips and falls involve broken bones and are the leading cause of hip fractures in seniors.
  • Head Trauma – Although concussions are a common sports injury, most head trauma is caused by an accidental fall.
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries – An unexpected loss of balance can cause the spine to twist and distort right before a jolting impact.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says falls are the second-leading cause of injury-related fatalities in people 65 to 84; and for those over 85 years of age, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths. Fall fatalities are not only common among senior citizens; fall accidents are the most common cause of non-fatal injuries for all groups over 25 years of age.

Contact a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Attorney

Most falls are just accidents and you cannot seek compensation for injuries if you accidentally tripped in your own home or yard. However, Florida law requires property managers and property owners to use reasonable care in the management and maintenance of premises and to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. This duty to make certain a property is safe and well-maintained applies to businesses, private residences, and community areas like a park or public pools. For example, if an employee saw a spill on the floor and neglected to mop it up or post the proper warning, an injured party has the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit to seek recovery from the responsible party, as the accident could have been prevented. Negligence, carelessness, or unreasonable actions (or the lack thereof) can be used to demonstrate that someone else is responsible for your slip and fall injuries as well as other losses. Since fall injuries often result in lost work productivity, you may be able to recover lost income, current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you were hurt in a slip and fall, an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine the value of your claim and bring the appropriate actions for a full recovery. To ensure the most successful outcome possible, contact the Law Office of Schackow & Mercadante to discuss the detail of your case.