What To Do After A Slip-and-Fall AccidentFebruary 8, 2017 | Category: Personal Injury, Slip and Fall Accidents | Share
Slip-and-fall accidents can be devastating to the injured and complicated. Fort Myers slip-and-fall accident attorney recommends that anyone injured in a slip- and-fall accident contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. immediately following the accident.
Common causes of slip-and-fall accidents
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports that falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits; at 21.3 percent, the leading cause of emergency room visits.
The NFSI and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) say that 55 percent of all slip-and-fall accidents are caused by hazardous walking surfaces and a failure to maintain streets, sidewalks and steps. Slick surfaces or cluttered pathways are also culprits in these accidents. Improper footwear causes 24 percent of slip and fall accidents.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that 87 percent of all fractures happening to those over the age of 65 are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury. Fatal falls happen at home in 60 percent of the cases, with 30 percent occurring in public places, and 10 percent in health care facilities.
Types of slip and fall injuries
When a person slips and falls, various injuries may occur ranging from soft tissue injuries such as minor sprains, to tendon and ligament tears, to more serious head injuries which can require immediate medical attention.
There may also be broken bones which can be minor or severe. If the tissue around the broken bones is damaged, this may mean the need for long-term therapy which may help prevent chronic pain and neuromuscular dysfunction.
Occasionally there are cuts and abrasions. These may be less extensive than other injuries, but they may hide injuries which may be more serious.
Sometimes a fall may be so devastating as to cause brain and/or spinal cord injuries where the cord may be either severed or compressed. The University of Pittsburgh reports, “Together, the brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system. This complex system is part of everything we do. It controls the things we choose to do, like walk and talk, and the things our body does automatically, like breathe and digest food. The central nervous system is also involved with our senses; seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling, as well as our emotions, thoughts, and memory. These injuries are frequently life-threatening, demand immediate and ongoing medical care.
Who is liable?
There are three things that an injured person must prove in a Florida slip-and- fall case. These are:
- Liability: A business or property owner has a “duty to care” for those who enter onto its property to be sure its property is safe.
- Negligence: A business or property owner must maintain and operate the property with a sense of “reasonable care.”
- Responsibility/fault: If a property owner or business does not use reasonable care, and a person is injured as the result of this lack of reasonable care, responsibility/fault may fall on the property or business owner.
Statute of limitations
In Florida there is a statute of limitations for slip-and-fall cases. They must be filed within four years from the date of injury. Should these cases not meet the deadline, they cannot be filed.
What to do after a slip-and-fall accident?
- Medical attention: Medical attention is important in order to assess the injury, treat and prevent further damage. It is also important to obtain in writing the professional diagnosis of the injury, or injuries.
- Documentation: While the accident is still fresh in the mind, it is important to document it. Time makes a difference in what is remembered.
- Identify witnesses: It is important to get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. They may be needed in a future legal case.
- File an accident report: When an accident occurs in a business or store, be sure to complete an accident report if available and/or notify the store manager getting the store manager’s name and contact information.
- Take pictures: Cell phone cameras are usually available. Be sure to take pictures of the scene before any evidence is lost or changes are made.
Fort Myers Slip & Fall Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.