You probably know the feeling. You’re out for the night, enjoying the winter weather—you feel your feet begin to slide and you go into a state of panic. You flail your arms aimlessly attempting to grasp onto anything you can get your hands on to stop the fall, but ultimately come crashing down.
A slip and fall accident can change your day, week, and possibly even your entire life. Falling on ice is a truly terrifying experience that can lead to an endless list of problems in your life. From the physical damage to medical bills, missed work, and emotional distress, many victims are left feeling shook and hopeless after a slip and fall accident.
In this guide, you’ll learn of the damage slip and fall accidents can cause, as well as exactly what you should do if you find yourself in a slip and fall accident.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics on slip and fall cases:
One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury
In addition to medical bills and other expenses (both physical and emotional), slip and fall accidents cost businesses in terms of productivity. The average slip and fall victim misses at least 11 days of work due to the injury.
Ice-related slip and fall accidents cost an average of $33,000 in hospital bills, which is $7,000 more than the average cost of a normal slip and fall case.
In 2015, the last year in which there is conclusive data, the total medical costs for fall-related injuries totaled more than $50 billion.
Common Injuries Associated With Slip and Fall Accidents
Some slip and fall cases end with the injured feeling as if the only thing they hurt is their pride. Others may feel little to no pain at the accident site, only to wake up the next day with soreness, limited mobility, and feelings of discomfort.
When a victim of a slip and fall case begins to notice these symptoms, it may be something much more serious, as there are many different injuries associated with these types of falls. A few of the most common injuries from a slip and fall accident are:
Hip fractures - CDC states that more than 95% of hip fractures each year are caused by falling. As a young individual, a hip fracture is something that will just cause a hindrance. However, for those over the age of 65, a fractured hip means an altered lifestyle from that point forward, as many are never able to fully recover.
Sprains and breaks - The action of falling causes many people to try and brace themselves for impact. The victim usually tries to put an arm down to brace the fall, making broken and sprained forearms, wrists, and hands some of the most common injuries in a slip and fall accident.
Head injuries - Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), as stated by the CDC. In addition to brain damage from the fall, falling is even more dangerous to people who are taking medications (like blood thinners).
Premises Liability means that if you hurt yourself on someone else’s property due to negligent maintenance or unsafe practices, you may be entitled to compensation for any medical bills and loss of wages. When dealing with ice and the changing seasons, many property owners are unaware of the regulations required and more times than not, choose to cut corners with their expenses—leaving hazards on their property.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
After a fall you may feel embarrassed, wanting to just brush it off hoping nobody saw. All too often the victim of a slip and fall flees the accident because they’re hoping to begin forgetting that it ever happened. While your mind may be elsewhere, it’s important to keep your composure and do the following if you find yourself the victim of a slip and fall accident:
Seek medical attention - Your health should be your number one priority after being injured in a slip and fall accident. It’s also very crucial for you to get your injuries documented, as well as making sure you weren’t injured more severely than you may have imagined.
Report the accident - No matter where the accident takes place, make sure you report what happened to a manager, property owner or landlord. Make sure you get all of the details in the written form, as well as asking for a written report from whomever you report the accident to.
Document everything - Include pictures of the area and what caused you to fall (icy patches, water spills, or anything else that may have contributed). These photos may be very important in determining who is to blame for the accident. Be sure to keep a note of the events leading up to the accident, as well as how the fall went down and any other details pertaining to the incident (including the exact time and date).
Call an attorney - Slip and fall accident claims are more often than not disputed. When a claim is filed, the party whose fault is being questioned generally tries to deflect the blame or disprove how severe the victim’s injuries are. With an attorney on your side you will have guidance and expertise working with you to make sure you have the best chance of winning your claim and getting the full compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident and you suspect others negligence as a possible cause, call us at (267) 214-8608 or contact us online today.