Slip and fall accidents, no matter the end result, are always scary. While some accidents might leave only scrapes and bruises others may result in permanent disabilities that can last a lifetime. What’s even worse is that slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone. There is often no rhyme or reason behind a slip and fall accident, but the injuries can be devastating.
The statistics for slip and fall accidents are staggering. According to the National Floor Safety Institue, nearly 8 million people each year visit the emergency room following an accidental fall. The causes for these types of accidents vary from things like faulty walkways, poorly planned construction sites, and slippery surfaces.
You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have experienced an accidental fall and suspect it was due to a negligent person or company.
Call us at 1-858-551-2090 to speak to San Diego’s leading personal injury attorneys. We specialize in slip and fall accidents and can answer your questions with NO out-of-pocket costs.
If you have been injured and need help, Call us today: 858-551-2090.
COMMON CAUSES OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by a long list of unfortunate events. In our experience, we have found the following to be common issues that result in slip and fall accidents:
By and large, faulty walkways contribute to a large number of slip and fall accidents. While there are a number of reasons that a walkway can fall into disrepair, they are frequently attributed to at least one of the following:
FAILURE TO BUILD TO CODE. For urban sidewalks to be considered safe, they must meet a number of requirements. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), these requirements include appropriate curbing, a gentle cross-slope (less than 2 percent), adequate sight ability around corners and driveways, a clear path and flat areas across driveways. Sidewalks are built so that people have a safe option for walking along roadways. If sidewalks are not built to code, they become unsafe and can contribute to accidents that could have been prevented.
In addition to these requirements which are the “basic ingredients of success” – as the FWHA calls it – sidewalks must also maintain a specific width. If a sidewalk is set back from the curb it must be at least 5 feet wide, though sidewalks at the curb face are required to be 6 feet wide. If a sidewalk is located near a school, park, sporting center, or shopping area it must be 8 feet wide.
Adequate width and good repair ensure that pedestrians can walk freely on the sidewalk without being forced onto the street.
The FHWA requirements are an appropriate set of guidelines that can help mitigate the risk of slip and fall accidents. Ultimately, sidewalks should ensure the safety of the pedestrian and be made from quality materials, maintained properly, and provide people with the right to safety at all times.
It’s important to note that codes for public walkways may differ from one city to another. In San Diego, if damage to the walkway resulted from a traffic accident, grade irregularities, breaks to water main pipes, or trees deemed to be within the “Right of Way,” the city is responsible for maintenance. If a sidewalk is not owned by the city, the responsibility falls to homeowners. Because of this, both the city and homeowners can be held liable for injuries that occur on the walkways that they are responsible for maintaining.
If you or a loved one has fallen due to a faulty walkway, it is important to speak to a San Diego slip and fall lawyer immediately. Our talented team of attorneys know the intricacies of city planning and have the expertise needed to understand the code violations that come into play in a slip and fall case.
HOLES OR CRACKS IN CONCRETE. Holes and cracks in concrete can lend to uneven footing and lead to injury. This type of maintenance should be taken care of by the city and if they fail to do so, legal action can be taken.
If any sidewalk damage is due to the homeowner’s neglect, you may still be financially compensated when filing a legal claim. While homeowner’s insurance would be responsible for handling the legal claim against the homeowner, we leverage our experience in the insurance industry to ensure that homeowner’s insurance companies do not take advantage of you or underpay your claim.
Poor flooring or slick services are common causes of slip and fall accidents that occur in retail settings. Evidence gathered by the National Floor Safety Institute supports this: 87 percent of all slips and falls within retail settings occur on low to moderate traction areas, while only 13 percent of slips and falls occur on high traction flooring, such as non-slip surfaces.
Slip and fall accidents can be prevented by making sure that floors are coated with non-stick coating.
It is up to retailers to ensure the flooring is safe and adequate – and most importantly – non-slip. Retailers are responsible for ensuring that their flooring is adequately safe and non-slip. Surfaces built with slippery materials, or unclean and poorly maintained surfaces, dramatically increases the chances of customers slipping and falling.
STAIRWAYS AND ESCALATORS
Stairways and escalators are large contributors to slip and fall accidents. If a stairway is poorly lit, it can be easy to lose your footing. Falling down the stairs can unfortunately result in injuries including broken bones, hip fractures, spinal injuries or even a traumatic brain injury.
Escalators can also cause a slip and fall accident, especially if the escalator stops abruptly. Since escalators are a moving surface, slipping and falling can happen quite easily. Escalators can catch onto loose ends of clothing articles such as shoelaces or the hems of pants and skirts, which can cause a person to tumble backward or forward as their clothing is pulled.
SWIMMING POOLS, PARKS AND PLAY AREAS
Swimming pools, parks, and play areas are also prone to slip and fall accidents. The areas around pools are especially prone to slipping due to wet surfaces. To mitigate the risk of slip and fall accidents around pools, pool coping must also be installed according to pool safety codes and made from non-slip materials such as textured stone or concrete.
Slip and fall accidents also commonly occur at the park. Improperly installed play equipment can contribute to slip and fall accidents, especially when equipment is not properly marked or inherently faulty.
Other play areas such as those found in malls, or even amusement parks, can all be contributors to slip and fall accidents. These areas provide many opportunities for children and young adults to lose their footing. No matter how cautious and alert a person may be, they can experience a slip and fall injury as a result of someone else’s negligence.
The elderly are especially susceptible to slips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, millions of individuals aged 65 and older visit the emergency room as a result of a slip and fall accident. And falling risk doubles after an aging person’s first fall accident.
Slip and fall accidents within the elderly population can occur anywhere that they are living and moving about. This includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals. If caretakers are negligent and not doing their jobs properly, they increase the risk of falling for their clients. In these cases, the injured person and their family may have a case against the responsible party.
COMMON INJURIES FOLLOWING SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Those who slip and fall most commonly report:
Broken limbs are common in slip and fall accidents. The impact of a fall can break bones in the legs, ankles, arms and wrists, and even ribs or the spine.
Hip fractures are most commonly found in elderly populations. Of the 800,000 elderly people the CDC reports are hospitalized due to slip and fall accidents, 300,000 have experienced a hip fracture. Nearly 95 percent of these hip fractures are caused by falling – especially falling sideways.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a disruption to the brain due to a forceful blow to the head. Slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of TBIs according to the CDC. Traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong injuries that prohibit victims from being able to do normal activities like walking or holding a conversation.
Spinal cord injuries can range from mild to severe, complete or incomplete, and can leave the affected person in pain for the rest of their lives. Following slip and fall accidents, injuries including bulging discs or herniated discs, vertebral compression fractures, cervical myelopathy, or spondylolisthesis have been reported.
In severe cases, spinal injuries can lead to paralysis.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT
The most important thing to do following a slip and fall accident is to seek immediate medical care. Keep a record of your medical visits and hold onto any paperwork that might be given to you by your doctors or clinics. If possible, file an accident report at the place of business and ask for a copy of it.
If you do not have an accident report and cannot obtain one, you should make a detailed report of your own based on the events that you recall. Your report should include the location and time of the accident and should include objective information about the circumstances that surround the event. If there were any witnesses to the accident, take down their information if possible. Any details of the circumstances that might have contributed to the accident – such as lighting conditions or object hazards, should be noted.
After you have documented your fall to the best of your ability, contact a San Diego slip and fall attorney to file a claim against the responsible party. Our team of personal injury attorneys will review every facet of your case to ensure a positive financial outcome. While no case is ever guaranteed, our attorneys will leave no stone unturned and we will work hard to get you the maximum compensation allowed by law.
Call us at 1-858-551-2090 and speak to a slip and fall accident attorney free of charge. Get all of your questions answered and learn more about the legalities of your case. We charge nothing to file your claim and we only collect when we win your case. Call now.
Michael Pines and his team have kept their promise.
Mr. Pines asked me whether I was in the same shape as before my accident – this I had to deny. My back was still hurting and he stated that, if I would accept his services, he would ensure that I would get the therapy I needed […] and that all bills would be paid and my health restored. Michael Pines and his team have kept this promise.
I cannot say enough good things about my experience
My friend recommended Michael Pines to me and I was super happy. They took very good care of me, treated me very nice, and I got a very nice check. I had a lot of back pain and the doctor they referred me to helped me so much! I didn’t have to pay anything when I was getting treatment. I was so happy, that I’ve referred another friend to Michael pines.
Gracias Michael Pines y a todo su staff por su ayuda
En las oficinas del abogado Michael Pines recibi la ayuda que mas necesitaba cuando sufri mi accidente de automovil, todo el personal me ayudo con mucha pasiencia y respondio a todas mis dudas. Resolvieron mi caso muy rapido, me ayudaron con mi doctor y ahora puedo seguir con mi tranquilida. Gracias Michael Pines y a todo su staff por su ayuda.
They truly put my interest first and were very sincere.
As soon as I met Mr. Pines my nerves immediately went away. He looked at my case and assured me that everything will be ok. I was sent to the best doctors who truly had my best interest in mind. All of the Attorneys and staff made my recovery stress free by not having to worry about paying for my treatment upfront.They were always there to answer my questions.
Michael worked non-stop, nothing deterred him
After falling on a cruise ship and being emergency evacuated to a hospital in Mexico, I was scared and needed help, especially because I am 89 years old. Michael worked non-stop, through the weekend, communicating internationally with stubborn insurance personnel who tried to put up roadblocks every step of the way.
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If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to call and speak to an attorney—FREE of charge. You have questions, now get the answers — call us today at 858-551-2090. (Hablamos Español!)