We’ve all done it – slipped and fallen, maybe hurting both ourselves and our pride. A sidewalk was slick with ice, or the just-mopped tile floor at a grocery store looked dry but wasn’t, or we stumbled down a step because we didn’t notice it there.
If you fall and you aren’t injured, you’re fortunate. You can pick yourself and your belongings up, check for scrapes and go on about your day. But sometimes there’s more to it than that, and a fall has serious or lasting effects.
Perhaps you’re embarrassed, and believe that you are just clumsy. But there also may have been a contributing reason for your fall: A business or property owner might not have kept its premises in a reasonably safe condition for use.
For example, was the sidewalk a hazard because it hadn’t been cleaned or is in disrepair?
Was there a warning sign that the grocery-store floor was wet?
Did the stairstep down look any different from the step above it? Was the stairway well-lit?
Any of these things could be the primary factor in causing a fall, and it’s important to know that, especially if you came away with more than a bruise.
Falls are serious business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the following statistics about falls:
- One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, such as head injuries or broken bones.
- More than 800,000 people a year are hospitalized for injuries they received in a fall, most often due to a head injury or hip fracture.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Many falls happen in the home, and many of those occur in the older population. But other falls happen in public places or places of business, and it’s possible that they could have been prevented with some care or planning.
A business may be negligent and obligated to compensate an injured person if that business failed to use reasonable precautions to protect its customers from dangerous conditions. A dangerous condition could be anything that can cause an individual who is exercising ordinary care to slip or trip and injure themselves. Some examples of these:
- Liquid or produce on tile floors;
- Abrupt changes in flooring;
- Raised or cracked sidewalks;
- Poor lighting;
- An accumulation of water, ice or snow;
- A hidden hazard, such as a hole in the ground you couldn’t see.
When people fall, their instinct is to try to catch themselves, which can mean broken hands, wrists or arms. A person who falls on his or her side can easily fracture a hip; landing on the backside can injure the pelvis or spine. And any fall creates momentum on the way down, which is why the head can hit the ground so hard. Medical treatment and recovery for a head injury can take weeks, months or years, depending on the severity – and even if there was no skin broken or wound visible from the outside.
There are times when injuries from slips and falls can be more traumatic or disabling than those suffered in car accidents. If you have suffered a fall and were injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings and/or emotional suffering.
If this is you, don’t fail to ask for help because you feel embarrassed or clumsy. At Mazzeo Law, we understand the ways in which businesses should protect their patrons. If you were placed in an unsafe situation, we can help you prepare your case and, perhaps, prevent the same kind of accident from happening to someone else.
The attorneys of Mazzeo Law, LLC, are Las Vegas personal injury attorneys with over 29 years litigation experience. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can help: