Slips and falls are among the most common types of accidents that can lead to injuries. The injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident can range from mild to life-changing. Here are the things that victims of a slip and fall and even their loved ones should know.

How Often Do Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?

Sidewalk slip-and-fall accidents can happen anytime and anywhere to anyone. They can be caused by sidewalk defects, severe weather conditions, and poor sidewalk maintenance. They can occur on private or public property. They can happen to people of all ages, young and old.

An experienced personal injury attorney can better handle a slip and fall case. It is a personal injury case where the complainant can make an injury claim against the liable party to seek compensation for the injuries they sustained, such as medical treatment and lost wages.

Common Sidewalk Trip and Fall Injuries

A sidewalk slip can result in serious injuries. For instance, a sidewalk accident can lead to head trauma, which can result in head and brain injuries.

Here are the common bodily injuries caused by a sidewalk slip and fall.

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussion
  • Hemorrhage
  • Broken bones, such as hip fractures
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Spinal injuries

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five falls ends up in a serious injury. These injuries can lead to costly medical expenses, chronic pain, and even death. Medical bills can easily rack up.

Aside from hospitalization costs, the injured person also has to deal with the pain, trauma, and lost wages. This is why it is necessary to immediately contact a personal injury attorney to help with the slip and fall claim.

Causes of Sidewalk Trip and Fall Accidents

Sidewalk accidents, specifically trips and falls, can happen due to a variety of reasons. They can be due to natural occurrences or plain negligence of the responsible party.

Here are the common causes of slip and fall accidents on sidewalks:

  • Dangerous Conditions: Inclement weather, such as rain and snow, can make any roads, including sidewalks, slippery and prone to accidents.
  • Snow-Covered and Icy Sidewalk: It is important during snowfall to keep sidewalks clear and salt them to prevent ice from forming.
  • Broken Sidewalks: Over time, sidewalks can form cracks and holes, which can increase the risks of falls.
  • Poor Sidewalk Maintenance: Hazards protruding from the sidewalk, such as tree roots, rocks, and broken posts, can cause accidents. Sidewalks must at all times be clear and free of such items.
  • Poor Lighting at Nighttime: Sidewalks must be well-lit at night so that passersby can see any hazards present.
  • No Visible Warning Signs: There must be warning signs to alert pedestrians of defective sidewalks that are under repair.

After a person slips due to any of the reasons mentioned above, it is important to document the accident scene immediately, if possible. To establish negligence, the liable party must be aware of the dangerous conditions of the sidewalk, but no corrective action was taken.

Crucial Steps to Take After a Sidewalk Injury

After a sidewalk trip results in severe injuries, it is important to maintain a clear head if possible. Here are the steps that the victim should take after incurring fall injuries.

  • Seek medical treatment. Seek immediate medical care even if there are no injuries. Remember, internal injuries can be dangerous if left unattended, which can result in lifelong physical effects.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, the hazard, and the fall injury incurred. The property owner may immediately fix the problem right away to avoid liability.
  • Report the accident to the authorities, such as the property owners or the city council.
  • Collect witness information. Get their names and contact details in case their testimonies are needed.
  • Do not touch any evidence on the scene, such as the hazards that led to the accident.
  • Keep related medical records. They will be used when filing for damages.
  • Seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer. Many lawyers offer free consultation for plaintiffs of a case.

Recovering Your Damages

Victims of a slip-and-fall case can make a fall claim against potentially liable parties. The liable parties can be the property owner for private sidewalks/parking lots or the city for a public sidewalk.

An experienced and reputable fall lawyer can help the injured party recover maximum compensation from the insurance company of the liable party. The complainant must be able to prove that there was negligence on the part of the sidewalk owner or manager. This negligence must have led to the accident. If the parties do not arrive at a settlement, the complainant can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the legally responsible party.

The damages that the victim can recover include:

  • Medical Expenses: These can include rehabilitation and medical bills, medicines, and therapies needed for the victim to recover.
  • Lost Wages: During recovery, the victim may not be able to work, which means a loss of opportunity for earnings. Lost earnings can be included in the claim for damages.
  • Pain and Suffering: An experienced attorney will know how to put a value on the victim’s physical and mental suffering due to his injuries.
  • Loss of Ability to Work: If the injuries are severe, the victim may no longer be able to work. The possible future earnings should be included in the damages claim.

Michigan’s statute of limitations provides that a claim must be made within three years from when the accident occurred. Be prepared that the at-fault party will try to pass on some amount of the responsibility. If the victim is also found to be negligent, the state’s modified comparative negligence rule will determine the amount of the damages.

Here are some examples of how the at-fault party will argue the negligence of the victim.

  • The victim was on his mobile phone, which made him lose focus on his surroundings.
  • The dangerous condition was obvious. There were visible warning signs.
  • The victim was on private property, where he was not allowed to be in the first place and, therefore, was trespassing.
  • The victim was wearing inappropriate footwear for the weather.

Talk to a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer About Your Case.

A trusted slip and fall accident lawyer can help you with your personal injury claim. Choose a lawyer from a reputable law firm with vast experience handling personal injury cases.

A seasoned personal injury attorney can help you establish the fault of the other party. They will meet with medical professionals who treated your injuries, talk with witnesses, and investigate to strengthen your claim. At The Clark Law Office, we offer free consultations so we can get to know you and your problems. Call us now and know more about how we can help.

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