Facts about Slip and Fall

Slip and fall injury accidents are a type of "fall down" accident that occurs when the interface of the victim's shoe and the floor fails. In a slip and fall injury lawsuit, the literature suggests that both the property owner and the slip and fall victim can be held to varying degrees of responsibility or "comparative fault" based on the owner's duty to keep the property safe and the victim's duty to exercise ordinary care while walking on potentially slippery surfaces. Please read on to find out slip and fall issues.

What is a slip and fall injury?

A slip and fall is the generic term used by lawyers for an injury that occurs when someone slips, trips or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else's property. Slip and falls can occur at any time and in any place, such as a sidewalk, grocery store aisle, city park or a friend’s house.

There are four general types or categories of slip and fall cases

  • Trip and Fall - Foreign object in a normally clear walkway. (Example: cardboard boxes in a grocery store aisle)
  • Stump and Fall - An impediment or obstruction causes a person to stumble when walking. (Example: stumbling on a misaligned sidewalk)
  • Step and Fall - There is a hole, crack or other foundational failure in the walking surface. (Example: an uncovered manhole on a city sidewalk)
  • Slip and Fall - The meeting of the shoe’s sole and floor surface fails because of a slippery substance or surface. (Example: slipping on spilled paint at the hardware store)


What are common injuries from slip and fall?

Slip and falls can cause both minor and major injuries. Every year over 1,000,000 accidents are the result of slip and falls. Injuries include broken or fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, head and brain injuries, paralysis, permanent disability and death. If any injuries or pain is apparent immediately after the slip and fall, you should make sure it is included in the accident report. Do not hesitate to go to the emergency room or contact your primary care physician if you feel any pain or have suffered any injury. It is important that all of your injuries resulting from the slip and fall are documented in your medical records.

Slip and fall on workplace property?

Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. However, most workplace injuries are covered under workers’ compensation or workplace injury laws. Usually,as suggested in the literature, you cannot sue your employer for any slip and fall injuries at work and are only entitled to recover under the workers’ compensation plan. If a third party is responsible for the dangerous or hazardous condition at your workplace, you may have a claim against the third party.

Q: What compensation might I be eligible for?
A: Compensation for a slip and fall accident is similar to all personal injury claims. Recovery includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Wage loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Potential future medical expenses

There are a number of considerations an attorney reviews when determining if the slip and fall accident is actionable. First and foremost the attorney must see facts that indicate that a duty of care was owed to you. If, for example, you are walking through a mall and you slip on loose tiles, it can easily be argued that there is a duty of care for the mall to protect its shoppers by maintaining the property.

On the other hand, if you hop a fence to a restricted area on private property and are injured, showing a duty of care is a little more difficult. An attorney will consider other factors. In the first example assume for a moment the mall was aware of the loose tiles and was planning on fixing them in the near future. This shows that the mall had knowledge of the dangerous condition and chose to put patrons at risk anyway. This, of course, does not bode well for the mall.

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