SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS CAN TURN CELEBRATIONS INTO CATASROPHES
Until it happens to someone we love, we don’t think about slipping in a store as a cause of serious body injury. We don’t mean to be Grinch-like in our messages to readers, but as Indiana personal injury attorneys, we want to inject a note of caution in our holiday wishes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that each year, more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury.
Of course, slip and fall accidents happen in many different settings, but since this is a month in which we rush around on holiday gift shopping sprees and stock up on groceries for the family feast, it’s important to talk about injuries that can happen on the premises of stores. First and foremost, this blog post represents our message to shoppers to slow down and stay aware, paying careful attention to where you walk.
Often an accident inside a store happens because of the condition of the floor:
- The floor has just been washed or polished.
- The flooring is uneven.
- A stair is in disrepair.
- A rug on the floor lacks traction.
- Oil, grease, drink spills, or soapy water is on the floor.
- Small objects have dropped on the floor.
Slip and fall accidents cases are based on a type of negligence called premises liability. Property owners have a duty to prevent dangerous conditions in and around their premises.
If ever you are in a store with a family member or friend and witness an accident in which they were injured, first be assured that person is given the medical attention needed. But then, there are several important things you can do just in case a premises liability lawsuit needs to be filed:
- Take photos.
- Take notes: Exactly where did the fall happen? At what time of day? Take down the manager’s name and contact information.
- If it looks as if the person has suffered an injury serious enough to affect them for years to come, consult a personal injury attorney.
Every year at this time, we caution friends, clients, and family members about safe shopping – avoiding not only robbery and identity theft, but slip and fall accidents.
I confess that this year we are particularly focused on slip and fall disasters, because we are just now representing a client in a premises liability lawsuit against a big grocery store in northern Indiana. The cause of the slip and fall accident – a piece of wet cabbage that had not been cleaned off the floor! The result – a healthy woman permanently disabled with more than $300,000 in medical expenses already incurred; estimated lifetime medical expenses going forward are expected to be close to $600,000.
Celebrate the holidays to the fullest, but please, be careful as you visit the stores. Slip and fall accidents can turn celebrations into catastrophes.