Many people think that slip and fall accidents are embarrassing and minor, however, these incidents can cause a person to impact the ground with such force that they suffer from a catastrophic injury. While catastrophic injuries can vary in their severity, they all require immediate medical attention and treatment. A catastrophic injury can affects a person’s life, but it can also impact their financial well-being. With the right legal guidance, a victim may be able to pursue a legal case so they are not stuck with covering their own medical expenses.
Slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere. From homes, restaurants, to workplaces, people can slip and fall on uneven or wet surfaces.
A catastrophic injury is one that affects a victim for a long time or for the rest of their life. Common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Multiple fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Hearing or vision loss
While it might seem extreme to think that these injuries can occur from slipping and falling, it happens. When a shop owner or worker does not keep their property clear of hazards, like ice, they may be liable for any slip and fall injuries that result.
Where Do Most Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slips and falls can occur anywhere, but the most common places to see a slip and fall accident include:
- Wet floors at restaurants and stores
- Icy sidewalks
- Uneven steps
When someone suffers a slip and fall injury, they need to make sure they document exactly what happened. If an injury occurs at work, documentation could be the key to getting benefits.
Someone who is injured in a slip and fall may be able to hold the property owner liable for their injuries. For example, it is common for restaurants to not always clean up spills right away. When a patron walks to the restroom, they may slip and injure themselves because of the negligence of the restaurant staff.
Making sure a person is okay is the most important step. When someone slips and falls, their first inclination may be to simply escape the situation as quickly as possible out of embarrassment. However, that could lead to more serious injuries. Since adrenaline is pumping, a person may not be aware of an injury or its severity, which could cause additional pain and suffering.
Getting medical attention after a slip and fall is paramount to ensuring the victim has the best chanc of making a full and complete recovery. Without medical attention, the victim may never know the extent of their injuries and may deal with longer-lasting effects.
How is Negligence Proven in a Slip and Fall Accident?
A victim needs to prove that the property owner was somehow negligent. Often, the property owner will argue that the victim was responsible for their accident and subsequent injury, which is why it is vital that a victim retains competent legal counsel to help them prove the property owner’s fault.
To prove a property owner is negligent, the slip and fall victim must show:
- The property owner knew or should have known of a dangerous condition, like a wet floor.
- The property owner did not take any action to rectify the problem or alert the victim to the dangerous condition.
- The victim slipped and fell on the dangerous condition.
- The victim suffered actual injuries.
Proving these elements might seem simple to the victim. For example, they know they slipped on a wet floor and were injured. They also know there were no yellow signs warning them of the wet floor, so the wet floor could have been in that condition for some time. However, proving this to a legal standard is more challenging. It will require evidence and possibly even witness testimony.
What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a legal concept that attempts to determine the level of fault the victim played in their accident. As long as a slip and fall victim is not more than 50 percent responsible for their accident, they may still be able to recover against a property owner. However, their recovery may be limited by the amount they are deemed to have been at fault. For example, a restaurant patron spills part of their drink on the floor next to their chair. Several minutes later, they get up and slip and fall. A judge or jury might determine that they are 25 percent responsible for the slip and fall because they spilled the drink on the floor.
Since New Jersey subscribes to comparative negligence, victims need to make sure they have a strong case against the property owner. Often, that requires an investigation into the accident. When injuries are severe, an investigation may include witness statements and any security camera footage. However, witnesses often forget very quickly and security footage is often taped over within a matter of days. For anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall, having an investigation done quickly is vital in proving the negligence of the property owner.
Mount Laurel Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Help Slip and Fall Victims Suffering From Catastrophic Injuries
Suffering an injury in a slip and fall accident can be embarrassing, but it can also be serious. For legal help with your slip and fall case, speak to a Mount Laurel slip and fall accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.