In 2020, falls were the most common cause of preventable nonfatal injuries in the United States. The National Safety Council reports that falls account for 33 percent of all non-fatal and 21 percent of all fatal injuries. Whether it happens at work, at home, or in public, a simple slip-and-fall accident can leave a legacy that lasts a lifetime.
Falls can happen for many reasons that are nobody’s fault, including the effects of aging, losing our balance, and tripping over obstructions in the home. However, if you slip and fall away from home and someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you may have a right to sue for compensation.
After a slip-and-fall accident, the bills can start to pile up fast. For example, you may need ongoing medical treatment and could suffer lost wages. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you need compensation as fast as possible. Seek justice by talking to the tenacious personal injury attorneys at Gould Injury Law.
We pride ourselves on aggressively pursuing compensation for our clients. So take the first step on the road to fast results by scheduling a free consultation with our slip and fall lawyers. Call us at 888-WIN-FAST or reach out online, and we’ll get back to you as fast as possible!
Let’s explore some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall accidents and learn how you can build a strong case for compensation.
Ice and Snow
Connecticut is famous for its snowy winters, with New Haven averaging 7.5 inches of snow in January alone. The risk of falling increases dramatically when the mercury drops below freezing. To keep people safe in these potentially treacherous conditions, there are various local ordinances in place regarding snow and ice removal for property owners.
For example, in New Haven, the Department of Public Works is responsible for keeping 234 miles of roadway surfaces clear. Additionally, local ordinances throughout Connecticut dictate that property owners must clear sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. If you slip and fall on a sidewalk or road that was not cleared in time, you may be entitled to compensation.
Wet surfaces can be extremely slippery, especially if the flooring below is shiny and offers little grip. On rainy days, it’s easy for water to get brought into businesses and stores on customers’ feet if there isn’t sufficient absorbent matting at the entrance.
Business owners also need to ensure that doorways and windows are well maintained so that water cannot leak into the building. Failure to take reasonable care in these matters could lead to liability if an accident happens.
Regular floor cleaning operations also need to be carefully controlled, and warning signs utilized, so that visitors are not allowed to walk on freshly mopped floors. While spills are a part of life, businesses must have cleaning protocols to minimize dangers as they happen.
Over time, outdoor tiled walkways can become uneven as the substrate settles. This can cause trip hazards where the tiles meet or when tiles crack. In addition, even poured concrete walkways can eventually start to crack and become dangerous due to freeze-thaw weathering and general wear and tear. Failure to monitor and correct these hazards could leave property owners open to getting sued.
Obstacles in Walkways
Have you ever been shopping at the store when the employees are restocking the shelves? This may involve placing large stocking carts in the aisles and removing inventory from external packing materials. While this can be done carefully and considerately, carelessness can sometimes contribute to hazards.
Of course, stores and supermarkets are not the only places you may encounter obstacles in walkways. Additionally, offices and other businesses can become cluttered with document boxes, trailing wires, and other equipment.
It’s the responsibility of property owners and tenants to keep their premises safe. This could include enforcing policies that keep walkways clear and providing training for their workforce. However, if those responsible don’t proactively take measures to reduce the risk, they may be liable when someone slips or trips, falls, and gets hurt.
Lack of Maintenance
All buildings require ongoing maintenance, and this is particularly crucial on premises that are open to the public. Businesses and local government departments are responsible for ensuring that floor surfaces and stairways are safe throughout their buildings.
Some examples of poor maintenance include:
- Frayed, worn, or uneven carpeting
- Mats that are loose or curl up at the edges
- Uneven, cracked, or broken tile
- Cracked, loose, or uneven wood floors
- Broken trim/handrails on stairways
The city and local businesses are also responsible for ensuring that outdoor areas are safe. Without correct maintenance, the following hazards can quickly develop:
- Cracked concrete sidewalks
- Potholes on public roads and in parking lots
- Weeds/garbage causing obstructions and trip hazards
At first, it may not always be readily apparent whether a business or the local municipality is responsible for maintaining a particular area. That’s why it pays to speak to a fast-working Connecticut premises liability lawyer who will understand Connecticut law and can help you identify the liable party so you can pursue them for damages.
Gould Injury Law’s attorneys recently achieved a settlement of $177,750 for a client who broke her ankle while walking on an unpaved surface outside a marina clubhouse. It’s possible that you too could receive more than you might expect.
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident caused by a property owner’s negligence, don’t delay in seeking justice. The slip and fall lawyers of our law firm are ready to discuss the legal avenues open to you.
A study has shown that handrails are crucial safety features that reduce the incidence of falls on stairways. The Connecticut State Building Code contains detailed regulations for handrails in new buildings.
All business owners should ensure that their buildings’ handrails are up to code and well-maintained. Thus, if you fell on a stairway that did not have a handrail or had one that was poorly maintained, the property owner may be liable.
Slip-and-Fall Accidents in the Workplace
In 2020, 805 people died in workplace falls while a further 211,640 were injured and needed time off work to recover. The message from the National Safety Council is that falls are 100-percent preventable. To achieve this, employers must follow OSHA standards and ensure they take all precautions to minimize the risk of falls at work, including providing training for all employees.
If you get hurt in a slip-and-fall accident at work, you will usually be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Currently, this is a requirement for most Connecticut employers.
This insurance may cover your medical expenses and lost earnings if you are injured in a fall at work. However, there are some limitations to workers’ compensation insurance claims. The amount you are given may not cover the full extent of your losses.
For this reason, we recommend that you consult a fast-working Gould Injury Law workers’ compensation lawyer. He or she will be able to explain the legal options available to you so that you can get the compensation you need as fast as possible.
Why Cause Matters in Slip and Fall Claims
In premises liability cases, establishing the cause of the accident is a crucial element in determining liability. To build a strong case for compensation in a slip and fall case, your attorney must prove the following:
- The property owner or tenant had a duty of care toward you
- The property owner or tenant breached that duty of care through negligence or recklessness
- That breach was the direct cause of your injuries
- Your injuries caused you losses for which you can seek compensation
After a slip-and-fall accident, gathering as much evidence as possible to prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your accident is helpful. This evidence could include:
- Photographs of the scene
- Photographs of your injuries
- Eyewitness testimony
It’s also crucial to report the accident to the property owner immediately and ask for a copy of the incident report. Your slip and fall lawyer may be able to use this information, along with medical and financial evidence, to build a case for fair compensation faster and more effectively than you could on your own.
What Constitutes Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases?
Each slip and fall case is unique. However, there are some common negligent acts that lead to lawsuits. These include the following:
- Failure to take precautions during wet weather
- Poor choice of flooring materials
- Lack of warning signs in slippery areas
- Failure to regularly inspect and maintain the property
- Lack of adequate lighting
- Inadequate training of cleaning staff and other employees
Rather than wondering whether you have a claim or not, talk to a qualified premises liability attorney. During your initial consultation with us, Gould Injury Law’s team members will listen carefully to your story and advise you whether you have a strong case or not.
Get a Fast Response and Fast Help From Gould Injury Law
Whatever the cause of your slip-and-fall accident, you need to focus on your recovery, not fighting insurance companies. You need to entrust your case to a firm with a proven track record of getting fast and fair results for its clients. Don’t settle for a lowball offer – talk to the dedicated premises liability lawyers at Gould Injury Law.
We pride ourselves on our aggressive and relentless pursuit of justice for our clients. If you hire us, we will use all the resources at our disposal to fight for the best settlement on your behalf in as short a time as possible.
Don’t delay. Call us at 888-WIN-FAST to set up a meeting with one of our slip and fall attorneys. Alternatively, complete the contact form on our website, and we will get back to you fast.