If you were hurt in a fall, and you believe it was caused by negligence, talk to our Dallas slip and fall accident lawyer to find out if you have a case.
Perhaps you rarely think about just how serious a fall can be, but statistics say that you should. For example, did you know that falls were the leading cause of injury and death for older Americans, or that falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities?
We are all vulnerable to injuries suffered in a simple slip, trip or fall. If we fail to take fall risks seriously, we put ourselves and those around us in danger. We can fall in our homes, in businesses we frequent, on the job or in medical facilities. At Guajardo & Marks, our slip and fall lawyers realize that falls can be extremely serious, and we make sure that when our clients are injured because of the negligence of a property owner or business, they do not have to pay the costs for that negligence.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a slip and fall accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, contact Guajardo & Marks, LLP. Operating out of offices in Dallas, Texas, Guajardo & Marks have over two decades of experience in a variety of legal areas, especially with personal injury. Guajardo & Marks have both the knowledge and experience to represent you and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 972.774.9800 to set up a free consultation to evaluate the merits of your claim and decide on your best course of action. If your best option is to file suit, we charge no out-of-pocket expenses until and unless your claim is settled or won.
Legal Issues Related to a Slip or Fall
If a slip and fall occurs and results in injury, the owner of the property may be liable. This is especially true if the accident occurred because of an unsafe environment created because of someone’s negligence or willful misconduct. For example, an unmarked wet floor at a retail store leaves an individual unprepared and vulnerable to a fall. A weak and loose railing on a long flight of steps may not offer the assistance some individuals need to navigate the steps. The same is true in the workplace – if the environment is not safe on an oil rig or refinery, for example, it is the company’s responsibility to fix it for their employees’ safety. In all these cases, the injured individual has the right to sue for a personal injury.
Who Is Responsible for a Fall Related Injury?
In most cases, property owners are responsible for maintaining the condition of a property to ensure its safety. But the responsibility for minimizing fall risks doesn’t end there. In a workplace, the employer or supervisor bears responsibility for ensuring the safety of workers. In a business, the supervisor or other employees might be held accountable if they fail to notify customers or patrons that a surface is unsafe. In hospitals, the staff might also be responsible for identifying and addressing potential fall risks.
The CDC says that a fall injury costs an average of $30,000, though some fall injuries can be much costlier. For example, the CDC points out that the estimated cost of $30,000 doesn’t include indirect costs of a fall, such as lost productivity at work or lost wages, nor does the figure account for the incredible amount of pain and suffering experienced by a fall victim or that victim’s family.
To get the compensation you deserve for your injuries after a fall, work with a slip and fall attorney at Guajardo & Marks. We have the experience you need and our compassionate attorneys will be sure you understand the process in a lawsuit every step of the way.
How Falls Happen
Falls occur for many reasons, depending on the environment in which a person slips, trips or loses their footing. From the construction worker to the elderly nursing home resident, risks are as varied as:
- Slick or wet floors
- Icy surfaces
- Broken or loose flooring
- Narrow stairs
- Broken steps
- Cluttered walkways
- Broken or missing handrails
- Dim lighting.
Who Is at Risk for Slip and Fall Injuries?
A slip-and-fall injury can happen to any one of us. However, there are some people more prone to falls than others. For example, older adults are not only more likely to fall than others, they are also much more likely to be injured in a fall. Roughly one out of every person over the age of 65 falls every year.
Certain types of workers are more vulnerable to injuries suffered in a fall. Construction workers often do their jobs at great heights, sometimes on dangerous structures like scaffolding. Aside from highway collisions, falls are the leading cause of construction worker injury in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that falls account for nearly 40 percent of workplace injuries every year.
Falls are also more likely to occur among people taking medications that induce drowsiness or dizziness. This makes medical facilities like hospitals and nursing homes a likely location for serious slip and fall injuries. Hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States fall in hospitals, and up to half of those falls lead to injuries.
Common Injuries in Falls
Falls can result in several types of injuries. One of the most severe and common results of a fall is a traumatic brain injury. In fact, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are the cause of nearly half of all traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths every year.
Falls also cause many other types of injuries. Falls cause 95 percent of broken hips. They might also lead to other broken bones, such as broken wrists or ankles. Falls from great heights might also cause serious internal injuries or internal bleeding, which could be fatal.
Most Common Causes for Slip and Fall Injuries
- Debris on the floor, such as fruit spilled at a grocery store
- A floor that is excessively wet, without appropriate warning, such as might occur after waxing a linoleum floor
- Uneven surfaces, such as a hole or indentation in a concrete floor
- Unsafe construction or working zones, including failure of workers to take proper precautions, or failure of managers to either allow or instruct workers to take proper precautions.
Children and Falls
Children, because of their nature, are most susceptible to slip and fall injuries; luckily, they are also the most resilient age group. Between the playground, games and simple interaction, every parent is experienced with the scrapes and bruises that come with childhood. However, with the number of falls a typical child takes, it’s often difficult to tell which falls are serious and which are just bumps. Kidshealth.org has advice for when a fall has gone past just a band aid. They suggest seeking medical help if your child:
- becomes very sleepy or is difficult to wake up
- becomes easily annoyed or upset and cannot be comforted
- vomits more than two or three times
- complains of head, neck, or back pain
- complains of increasing pain anywhere
- is not walking normally
- does not seem to be focusing his or her eyes normally
- has any behavior or symptoms that worry you.
Falls often happen at the most common places. Because of this, there is a legal expectation that hosts that sponsor family events will add extra protections. If a child falls as the result of the negligence of a ball park, a store, even sometimes in a school, the liability often can fall on the property owner.
Dangers When the Elderly Fall
Slip and fall injuries are especially dangerous for the elderly. According to Hg.org, falls are the fifth-leading cause of death and the cause of 40 percent of fatal injuries for people 65 and older. Different factors add into the dangers of falls for seniors, including poor posture control, slow reaction time, infrequent activity, poor vision, impaired balance, medication side effects, and previous injuries or falls.
Because the elderly are often frail, institutions that cater to them are reasonably expected to take extra safety precautions to help them avoid injury. This is especially true in health facilities, including nursing and assisted living homes, hospitals and medical centers. As these facilities specialize in helping the infirm, safeguards should be in place. However, that is not always the case. If an elderly or infirm individual falls and suffers an injury in any of these facilities, liability often falls on the shoulders of the owners, or those in charge.
Why You Should Contact a Dallas Slip and Fall Attorney
A fall can disrupt a person’s life and lead to many more serious medical conditions. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries from a slip-and-fall accident, you have legal options. Our Dallas slip and fall attorneys can help you determine who should be held responsible for the damages you have suffered. Contact Guajardo & Marks to learn more about what we can do for you. Our consultations are free, and we earn no fee unless we win your case.