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There’s nothing worse than planning a day of shopping or a trip to the swimming pool only to end up being injured in a slip and fall accident. Whether you break an ankle slipping on a wet grocery store floor or suffer a concussion after hitting your head on a pool deck – or worse – these injuries can mean pain, medical bills, and time off work. A skilled Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer will tell you that these kinds of accidents happen all too often at stores and businesses that are not safe and properly maintained.
Slip and fall accidents can result in broken bones, concussions, cuts and bruises, spine and neck injuries, and even paralysis. Injuries can mean time in the hospital, lots of doctor visits, and rehabilitation. If this has happened to you, it’s wise to talk to an Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer to find out more about your legal rights and whether you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Choosing the Best Slip and Fall Attorney
When looking for an Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer, you want to choose a law firm that is committed to excellence and offers outstanding client service. At Stephenson Rife, we care deeply about each one of our clients, their families, and the outcome of their case. We have decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in accidents, and we are laser-focused on getting the justice they deserve. You can learn more about our legal team by reading our attorney bios. You can also hear from our many satisfied clients by reading their testimonials. Choosing the right Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Here are reasons to choose our law firm:
- Our attorneys possess decades of legal experience.
- We are not afraid to fight aggressively on your behalf.
- We have a winning track record in personal injury cases.
- Our attorneys offer top-notch client service and communicate openly and frequently with the clients we serve.
At Stephenson Rife, we understand that your family needs to be protected and cared for. Our attorneys have decades of experience and can speak authoritatively about their areas of legal specialization, including slip and fall injuries. If you feel alone and don’t know where to turn, reach out to us. We are here for you. For a free initial consultation, call us at 317) 680-2501.
Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
Slip and fall lawyers in Indianapolis explain the dangers.
Serious slip and fall accidents can happen in many different places. Some of these may seem obvious, while others may seem more obscure. Slip and fall injuries can happen due to slippery floors, loose carpeting, crumbling stairs, cluttered aisles, wet pavement, and a variety of other dangerous situations. Locations where slip and fall accidents can occur include:
- Sports arenas
- Amusement parks
- Swimming pools
- Office buildings
- Concert venues
- Apartment buildings
- Parking lots
- Outdoor recreation facilities.
Falls can lead to premises liability lawsuits. A premises liability claim arises when there is evidence that a property owner has been careless in maintaining the safety of their property.
Slip and Fall FAQs
Because the facts in every case are different, there is no “average” settlement amount in slip and fall lawsuits. Generally, the more serious the injury and/or the more egregious the negligence, the greater the settlement amount.
The amount of damages awarded is calculated based on the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, future medical and healthcare costs, future lost earnings, and pain and suffering caused by the slip and fall injury. In some cases, punitive damages can also be awarded by the court to a victim if there is evidence of gross negligence on the part of the defendant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million U.S. residents suffer a slip, trip, or fall injury each year, and more than 17, 000 Americans die annually because of these injuries.
Negligence means that a defendant (store owner, property manager, etc.) failed to meet their duty of care to keep their facility safe and free of dangerous obstructions and that their failing to do so contributed to someone else’s injury.
Common Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall injury attorneys see serious harm being done.
Several different kinds of injuries can result from a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Concussion. A slip and fall can mean hitting your head on the pavement, shelving or a piece of furniture. The blow can cause pain, confusion, memory loss, nausea, ringing in the earns, blurred vision, and many other symptoms. Several medical tests, treatment and time off work may be required.
- Traumatic brain injuries. A serious slip and fall can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The victim can be left in a coma or permanently incapacitated. Sometimes injuries mean a changed personality (aggression or depression), memory loss, or an inability to perform at work or in school.
- Spinal injuries. The spine is one of the most vital—and, in some ways, one of the most vulnerable—parts of our bodies. Slips and falls can leave the sufferer with life-altering circumstances such as loss of motor skills, chronic back pain, or paralysis. Medical expenses are usually staggeringly large. It’s only right that the negligent party assume those expenses.
- Workplace injuries. Some slip and fall injuries happen in the workplace. Falling off a ladder, tripping over machinery, slipping on wet flooring, or other unsafe conditions can cause workplace injuries involving a fall.
- Broken bones and lacerations. It is very common for people to break hip, leg, elbow, and other bones when they slip and fall. This is especially true of older adults. These can take weeks and months to heal – even longer if there are complications.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage. Slip and fall accidents can also result in hidden injuries that can take days or weeks to materialize. Internal bleeding and organ damage can be serious and even life-threatening, though initially a victim may just feel fatigued, sore, and sluggish after the fall.
- Catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries after a slip and fall accident can cause a significant and permanent deterioration of the victim’s quality of life. Whether a result of the initial fall or ongoing medical complications, these catastrophic injuries can be devastating.
- Wrongful death. A wrongful death can happen after a slip and fall, especially if someone falls from a significant height or severely hits their head after slipping. Because wrongful death cases are complex, we are committed to bringing together the most qualified experts available to uncover what happened.
Falls Among Older Adults
People aged 65 and older are particularly prone to slips and falls because they can be unsteady on their feet. Every year, millions of older adults fall. More than one out of four older adults fall each year. Statistics show that falling once doubles a person’s chances of falling again. Falls among older adults increased 31% between 2007 and 2016, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these statistics about falls among older adults:
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- In 2015, the total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
The National Council on Aging provides several tips for preventing falls among older adults, which you can read here. If you have an older loved one who has been injured due to a fall at a store, office, or place of business, they may be entitled to financial compensation. Speak to an Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer.
Steps to Take If You Slip and Fall in a Public Place
If you or a loved one slips and falls at a store, hotel, public pool or elsewhere, there are certain steps you should take. These include:
- Seek medical attention right away. If you are bleeding or are in severe pain, this may mean calling 911. If you are able to stand up and walk, it may mean seeing your family doctor within a day or two to get checked out. It’s important to do this to both insure that your injuries are treated, and to create documentation of medical tests that you may rely on in a future lawsuit.
- Notify the store or property manager about the accident. It’s important to tell a supervisor at the location that you have fallen and been hurt. They may offer you assistance, but do not sign anything and do not acknowledge fault or discuss the accident in great detail.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of your injuries and of the accident scene. This is particularly true if there is clutter, standing water on the floor, a loose handrail, or other evidence of unsafe conditions.
- Get phone numbers and contact info of any witnesses. Your attorney may want to interview witnesses later to learn more about how the accident happened. By getting contact info of witnesses, you will make this task easier.
- Call a slip and fall law firm to represent you. Statistics show that accident victims who are represented by lawyers achieve higher payouts from insurance companies than do victims trying to represent themselves. It always helps to have a skilled attorney on your side.
How Does a Slip and Fall Law Firm Prove Negligence?
Laws are clear about how to prove negligence in an accident injury claim. To prove negligence, you must show four elements:
The defendant owes the plaintiff a legal “duty of care” to watch out for their safety. For example, in a slip and fall case, a store manager owes a legal duty to clean up liquids and spills promptly and keep aisles clear of debris. Otherwise, customers could fall and get injured.
A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty of care by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonably prudent person would certainly have done in a similar situation.
In these cases, it’s not enough for a defendant to be acting negligently, but you must prove that their negligence caused the accident or mishap that resulted in your injury.
Damages means that there’s a monetary way of compensating a plaintiff for the injuries he or she suffered. For example, damages could be awarded to cover the cost of medical bills, property damage, lost current and future wages, and pain and suffering.
The issue of fault hinges on the legal concept of “negligence,” and proving negligence requires a plaintiff to address the above four elements.
Contact Slip and Fall Attorneys in Indianapolis Today
If you or a family member has been injured after a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if your injury was due to someone else’s negligence. An Indianapolis slip and fall lawyer at Stephenson Rife can make sure you get the justice you deserve. Our law firm has decades of experience representing injury victims, and we are tough when negotiating with and litigating against insurance companies. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at (317) 680-2501.