Every day, people suffer devastating and debilitating injuries resulting from falls due to negligence on the part of property owners, private companies, and employers. Slipping on a wet floor may not sound like a serious accident to some people, but the injuries sustained could last a lifetime. A slip-and-fall can result in costly medical bills, lost wages, a long and painful recovery, and in some cases permanent disability.
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, call the attorneys of Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., at 215-929-7216 for a free initial consultation. Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., has provided personalized, compassionate representation for injury victims in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey for more than 25 years. We have offices in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Cherry Hill in New Jersey, and New York.
Proving The Property Owner Was Negligent
You may assume that if you are injured on someone else’s property, the property owner’s insurance company will pay for your damages. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Insurance companies typically refuse to pay any damages unless you can prove the property owner was negligent. In general, this means that the property owner was aware of the unsafe condition and did not take steps to correct it or warn guests. This area of law is known as premises liability.
There are many different kinds of unsafe property conditions that can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Some examples include:
- Ice and snow: If the property owner did not take steps to clear snow and ice from steps and walkways within a reasonable time after a snowfall, he or she may be liable.
- Spilled substances: If a slippery substance is spilled on the floor and the store does not take steps to clean it up or place warning cones within a reasonable time, the store owner may be liable.
- Wet conditions: Rain and water spills can result in slippery areas on walkways, floors, and other areas. Property owners may be liable if they were aware of the slippery condition and didn’t take steps to correct it.
- Sidewalk defect: Defects such as cracks, holes, and uneven slabs can lead to serious trip-and-fall accidents.
Taking photos of a slippery or unsafe condition before the property owner corrects it can provide visual evidence of negligence. Interviews with witnesses can make your case. For example, a store employee may state that he or she notified management of the slippery conditions hours before the accident.
The sooner you contact our attorneys after an accident, the sooner we can take steps to collect and preserve evidence of property owner negligence. We work with experts who can help us build the strongest possible case.
An example of our success:
$1.5 million settlement for a client who was permanently injured because of a dangerous walking surface at a local hospital. A large puddle in the hallway caused our client to incur permanent damage that ultimately resulted in her early retirement. We were able to research and prove the conditions present on the day of injury that caused the slip and fall and subsequent injury.
The Potential Consequences of a Slip-And-Fall Accident
A slip and fall accident may not seem very serious when compared to a motor vehicle accident or another such incident. However, depending on various factors, such as the health and age of the individual involved, a slip and fall can result in major injuries. Consider the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- In the U.S. alone, every year, over 800,000 patients require hospitalization for injuries sustained in falling accidents
- Approximately 3 million older adults annually are treated in the emergency department for injuries sustained in falling accidents
- Falling accidents account for more than 95% of hip fractures in the U.S.
- Falling accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S.
It’s also not uncommon for victims of falling accidents to break bones in their arms, wrists, or hands. This is because people tend to instinctively thrust their arms forward in an attempt to stop their falls when they begin to lose their balance.
Sometimes, they’re able to catch themselves, preventing injury. That said, often, they end up landing on their arms, hands, or wrists in ways that result in harm.
Seeking Compensation After a Slip-And-Fall Accident
The losses and damages you might incur as a result of a slip and fall can be numerous. They may include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering and other such non-economic damages
Again, you can seek compensation for these losses by filing a claim with the property owner’s insurer if your accident resulted from their negligence. If the insurance company won’t offer a proper settlement, you can pursue damages in court by filing a lawsuit.
Be aware that you might need to seek compensation for future losses you’ve yet to incur if your injuries are particularly severe. For example, maybe your slip and fall accident resulted in a TBI. If so, you might no longer be able to work, and you may need ongoing medical care. A qualified slip and fall accident attorney can account for the potential cost of future lost income and future care when pursuing the compensation for which you’re eligible.
How a Slip-And-Fall Accident Lawyer Can Help You
It’s wise to enlist the help of a legal professional when seeking financial compensation after a slip and fall accident. The team at our Philadelphia slip and fall law firm can assist you by:
- Investigating your accident to gather evidence showing it occurred because a property owner was negligent
- Determining what your claim might be worth by accounting for your various compensable losses
- Filing a claim, corresponding with insurance adjusters, and generally allowing you to make your recovery your top priority while we handle your case
- Negotiating for a proper settlement if initial settlement offers are too low
- Keeping you up-to-date and answering your questions about your case as it progresses