Trips, Slips & Falls Attorneys in Spokane
When you are hurt on another’s property due to the owner’s or manager’s negligence, your accident will likely fall under the legal label of “premises liability.” Many of these cases are slips, trips, and falls. Such slip and fall accidents can result in a wide range of injuries from cuts and bruises to head trauma and even death. If you have been injured in this way due to an unsafe property condition, you may have the right to bring a claim for your injuries against the property owner for appropriate damages. These can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and future medical bills.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a negligence-based slip and fall accident, we advise that you contact our Spokane slip, trip, and fall lawyers at Sweetser Law Office. We can investigate the property conditions, document lost income, obtain and organize all of your medical records and bills, deal with the insurance company’s tactics, and litigate your case at trial if necessary. Our firm has 35 years of experience obtaining compensation for the injured and a proven record of results in slip and fall cases. Most settlements do not require court intervention and are reached without going to trial.
Slip & Fall Accidents in Premises Liability Cases
Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are far too common and thousands of people are injured every year because of negligent property management. Despite the negative connotation often attached to trip and fall legal claims, the fact is that most falls are preventable. When property owners recognize fall risks and use basic care, these serious injuries can be avoided. That is why laws throughout the nation require trip and fall hazards be recognized and repaired. If a property owner fails to do so, he or she may be found negligent in their management, maintenance, repair, or upkeep and thus responsible for the injuries suffered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of individuals suffer falls annually. These falls lead to three million emergency room visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and medical costs totaling in the billions. 20 percent of falls result in serious injuries such as head trauma or broken bones. The risk of falling and fall-related problems rise with age. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 223,000 falls in 2015 for workers while on the job. The majority of these were not falls from an elevated surface but from same-level surfaces made dangerous by being slippery or through debris or other hazards. Thus, falls represent a growing health and safety issue due to poor infrastructure, lack of property or workplace management, and cheap upkeep.
Slip and fall injuries can occur unexpectedly on any public or private property, including:
- Grocery stores
- Department stores
- Apartment complexes
- Shopping centers
- Construction sites
- Office buildings
- Parking lots
- Public parks
- Other residential and commercial establishments
The statistics show that a majority of falls happen from hidden or invisible obstructions on a seemingly flat surface. The most common causes are slippery floor surfaces (e.g., highly polished, wet, or greasy) or a small and unassuming object that catches a person’s foot (e.g., cracks in the floor, electrical leads). Injuries are often associated with the ankle, knee, back, or neck. Limbs can frequently be fractured or dislocated (such as when the victim tries to break his fall by extending an arm). Moreover, victims are often not immediately aware when they have suffered permanent soft tissue injuries, which are not generally measurable with traditional equipment like X-rays. Because of this, many undiagnosed long-term problems significantly affect these individuals’ quality of life down the road.
Common Injuries in Slip & Fall Cases
Any type of injury can occur in slip and fall accidents whether the falls are from elevations or at ground level.
Common injuries can include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Torn ligaments
- Broken bones and fractures
- Shoulder, knee, and hip injuries
- Internal injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spine injuries
Liability in Slip & Fall Injury Cases
Slips, trips, and falls on public or private premises does not automatically mean that you will be owed compensation through a personal injury claim. Under the law, you must show that the property owner failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors to the premises. This is called “duty of care” which means that the property owner or manager was legally obligated to use reasonable care in preventing accidents and injuries due to safety hazards that were known or should have been known about. If a hazardous condition existed, the property owner should have repaired it in a timely manner or warned visitors about it until it could be repaired. Where property owners fail in this duty of care, they may be held liable for preventable injuries.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Slip & Fall:
- Seek medical attention. Follow all doctor’s orders.
- Write down witnesses contact information.
- Obtain names of owners and managers of the property.
- Report the injury and insist on an incident report.
- Take photos of unsafe conditions from your viewpoint at the time of fall.
- Save your footwear and clothing.
- Do not sign documents or speak with insurance companies.
- Contact premises liability attorneys at Sweetser Law Office.