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Slip and Fall Accidents Attorneys

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Slip and Fall Accidents Attorneys

As we get older, slipping and falling becomes less of an inconvenience and more of a safety hazard. Our body’s ability to withstand a fall is never 100%, but it gets lower and lower to the point that one fall can send us to the hospital. You should always be careful not to find yourself in any slip-and-fall accidents, regardless of your age, because not everyone else will.

Sometimes a slip and fall accident just happens. Sometimes you get unlucky, but sometimes it’s not bad luck or chance. In other instances, it’s someone else’s fault when you fall and get hurt. When this is the case, you can sue them for causing you injury because of their negligence.

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the ability to sue for damages. The personal injury attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What Are the Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?

The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) reports that every year, around one-million people end up in the emergency room due to slip and fall accidents. The effects of such mishaps may differ based on the intensity of the accident. However, some slips and falls can be fatal.

Let’s take a look at some common causes of slip and fall accidents.

1. Uneven and Wet Surfaces

Wet and uneven floors are among the leading causes of slip-and-fall accidents. There are several other common causes of these accidents that our slip-and-fall accident lawyers have helped people get compensation for as well. These include:

  • Wet floors
  • Food or liquid spills
  • Loose, cracked, or broken floorboards
  • Loose, bulging, or ripped carpeting, mats, or rugs
  • Uneven flooring or sidewalks
  • Exposed wiring or other tripping hazards

What all of these causes have in common is that they are all things that someone should have cleaned up or fixed. At the very least, if any of these hazards can’t be fixed or cleaned up, they need to have proper warnings for guests or customers if it’s at a place of business.

It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep their property as safe as possible for guests and customers. If they don’t even place a warning sign for a hazard, they are liable for any injuries these hazards cause.

2. Weather

One of the biggest causes of slip-and-fall accidents is the weather. Following weather safety procedures is particularly important in the monsoon and winter seasons. Property owners and governmental bodies have the legal responsibility to take the necessary steps to keep areas on the property like walkways, sidewalks, and stairs safe for use. If they fail to do so and a person sustains an injury, they can be held accountable.

3. The Lack of Workplace Training

Yet another cause of slip and fall accidents is improper training of employees in high-risk industries. Employees need to be trained in using tools and equipment for their jobs. Moreover, each job should ensure that workers know how to keep themselves safe. Not doing so can mean that the employer or contractor can be held liable for accidents.

4. Neglect

A worrying cause of slip and fall accidents is neglect, especially in nursing homes. It’s no secret that most elderly people have trouble maintaining their physical balance. Neglecting their needs can increase their risk of slips and falls.

Who Is Responsible for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries?

Slip and fall accident injury claims can be filed when you sustain injuries on another person’s or entity’s property. Depending on your case facts, one or more parties may be responsible for your injuries.

Logic says that the party responsible for your injury should be the one to pay the compensation. However, establishing liability can be tricky as multiple parties could have played a role in your slip and fall accident injury.

A Scranton slip-and-fall lawyer can help. They’ll evaluate the case facts to determine liability and what amount the responsible party needs to pay you.

Here are the various parties that may be held liable for your injuries.

1. The Property Owner

The property owner is the person that the land, establishment, or business belongs to. They are liable if they were aware of the safety issue on their property, but did not quickly rectify it. For example, hazards reported by a renter were never repaired or corrected by the landlord.

2. Commercial Tenants

Many businesses don’t own their outlet, but rent it from a property owner. Usually, the property owner bears liability, but a commercial tenant may be liable if a careless employee failed to remove a hazard like cleaning up a spill in a timely manner.

3. Property Manager

If a third-party management company is responsible for maintaining the premises, the property manager may be held liable for the slip and fall injuries sustained at that location. For example, you fell due to an uneven floorboard or the property’s dim lighting prevented you from spotting and side-stepping a spill on the floor.

4. Residence Owner

If people suffer slip and fall injuries when visiting someone’s residence, then the owner of the residence can be held liable.

5. Employer

Employers have the legal obligation of providing all employees with a safe, hazard-free environment at the workplace. But if you sustain an injury at your workplace due to your employer’s negligence, you can hold them accountable.

Types of Slip and Fall Accidents

It may seem strange for there to be different ways for people to fall, but there are four types. They’re differentiated by how someone falls, which affects their trajectory. A person’s trajectory determines how they land and can lead to specific injuries more often than not.

  • Step: A “step-and-fall” accident is when there is an abrupt change in the height of the surface you’re walking on. This can be a step-down, an uneven surface, or a sudden steep slope.
  • Slip: A “slip-and-fall” accident is when something on the ground does not allow your feet or footwear to grip the surface. It’s the most common type caused by someone else’s negligence, so it has become the overall name for all four types of accidents.
  • Trip: A “trip-and-fall” accident is the opposite of a “step-and-fall.” Rather than something being of lower height, something is suddenly a higher height. When you don’t know to lift your foot higher when you walk, you trip and fall.
  • Slump: A “slump-and-fall” accident is similar to a ‘trip-and-fall” accident. Something is in your way at a higher height than the rest of the floor, but it’s hidden, like a design flaw or something under a carpet. This implies that someone knew the hazard was there or should have known and didn’t warn you before your accident.

Potential Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents

No one falls the exact same way every time, but sometimes injuries are more common with certain types. Regardless of type, you are always at the risk of falling in a way that causes:

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Paralyzation
  • Death
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Brain damage

Step-and-Fall Accidents

Step-and-fall accidents lead to someone falling farther than anticipated, which can lead to injuries to your:

  • Knees
  • Spine
  • Ankles
  • Shins
  • Neck
  • Skull
  • Shoulders
  • Pelvis
  • And more

The areas of your body that support your structure and ability to stand are at the most risk from a downward drop. Your weight and the unanticipated force will come down on your lower half.

Slip-and-fall accidents lead to someone being unable to move in the direction they desire but still carrying that momentum through. People slip on surfaces their feet or footwear can’t grip.

Trip-and-Fall Accidents & Slump-and-Fall Accidents

Both of these types lead to someone tripping over something they couldn’t be expected to see and usually falling forward. This can lead to injuries to their:

  • Hands
  • Head
  • Skull
  • Knees
  • Shins
  • And more

What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall mishap, our Scranton slip and fall accident attorney recommends taking prompt action to protect your rights. Here’s what you should do.

1. Seek Medical Treatment

First, get medical attention to get your injury diagnosed and treated. This will serve as documented evidence that you were, in fact, hurt in a slip-and-fall accident. It will also become the basis of your claim. It’s important that you follow your doctor’s orders to a T. Failure to do so will give the opposing party the opportunity to claim that you were never hurt, to begin with.

2. Report the Accident

If you fell at a business location, make the management aware of your accident and injury. Request for a copy of the accident report. If the police are involved, ask how you can get a copy of the said report.

3. Take Photos and Videos

Our slip and fall injury lawyer in Scranton, PA suggests you take as many photos and videos of your injuries and the accident site as possible. Capturing the area with the hazard from several angles will prove that there were no warning signs. You should also take photos of your injuries, bandages, cast, and so on.

4. Save the Paperwork

Retain all documentation related to your case, including the medical bills, invoices, and records of other accident-related expenses, communication with insurance adjusters, and any paperwork that proves your absence from work and hence, lost income.

Our Scranton slip and fall accident attorney also recommends maintaining a journal where you can write down the events leading up to your accident. Mention where you went, what you ate or drank, and how the accident occurred.

5. Don’t Take or Assign Any Blame

Establishing fault in a slip-and-fall accident isn’t always as straightforward as you’d think. Any experienced slip and fall injury lawyer in Scranton, PA will tell you that you should neither accept nor assign blame for the accident.

Further, avoid giving any statements to the other party’s insurance company until you have discussed your case with an attorney. Refrain from signing any documents before consulting with your lawyer.

Be careful about what you post on social media about your slip and fall accident and injuries. Remember, the opposing party will not hesitate to use your photos and comments against you during the legal process.

6. Contact a Scranton Slip and Fall Accident Attorney

While slip-and-fall accident claims may seem simple, this complex area of law calls for a thorough investigation and careful preparation of evidence. You may also have a limited time in which to pursue a premises liability lawsuit. A slip and fall injury lawyer in Scranton, PA experienced in this area of law can provide valuable assistance after your accident.

How Can a Slip and Fall Attorney in Scranton, PA Help You?

These falls are no joke. You can become seriously hurt, unable to work, indebted with hospital bills, and unable to care for yourself and your family.

This all could have been prevented if someone hadn’t been negligent in caring for their property or just warned you about the hazard they weren’t able to fix or clean up.

You deserve compensation for these injuries so you’re not overcome by the hospital bills and regular bills you may not be able to pay during your recovery.

Here are three key ways in which a slip-and-fall attorney in Scranton, PA can help you.

1. Establishing Liability

A slip and fall attorney in Scranton, PA will thoroughly investigate your case to determine the liability of the party or parties responsible for your injuries. They’ll also know how to assess the cause of your fall and determine whether the other party’s negligence led to an otherwise avoidable mishap.

2. Obtaining Fair Settlement

Insurance companies tend to make an initial offer shortly after the victim files a claim. This is usually a lowball offer made to offer the bare minimum settlement amount to the victim and close the case. A slip and fall attorney in Scranton, PA will protect you against such tactics. They’ll negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you’re adequately compensated for your past, current, and future losses.

3. Providing Powerful Legal Representation

While most cases are settled out of court, your slip-and-fall attorney in Scranton, PA might be compelled to take your claim to court if negotiations with the insurance company fail. They’ll file a personal injury lawsuit in compliance with the applicable deadlines, adhere to your state’s statute of limitations, and handle all of the paperwork. They’ll leave no stone unturned in representing your best interests in front of the judge and jury.

Contact the Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C.

The Scranton and Wilkes-Barre lawyers of Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. have successfully represented injured individuals and their loved ones in thousands of premises liability matters. We can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

We strive to maximize recovery for our clients and help them get their lives back on track. Whether the best outcome may be achieved through arbitration or mediation, or through a state or federal courtroom trial, our attorneys thoroughly investigate slip-and-fall accidents and present each case thoughtfully and effectively.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm on another party’s property, we encourage you to contact us today.