Every year, millions of people across the country fall down due to slipping or tripping. Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, including broken bones or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). If you slip or trip while in a shopping center, on a sidewalk outside of a store or residence, or on someone else’s premises, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Any financial damages that you obtain could help to cover the costs associated with your injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. As a slip and fall accident could happen to anyone at any time, it’s a good idea to understand what steps you can take after suffering an injury.
1. Slip and Fall Accidents are Common, Especially Among the Elderly
While slip and fall accidents can happen to individuals of any age, those who are 65 and older are much more likely to fall and sustain a serious injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four Americans over the age of 65 falls each year. One out of five falls leads to broken bones, head injuries, or other serious injuries. Every year, emergency rooms across the country treat approximately 3 million older people who have been injured in a slip and fall accident. It’s also important to recognize that elderly individuals who fall once are twice as likely to fall again in the future.
2. There are Many Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many conditions that may increase the likelihood of slip and fall accidents. Floors that are slick or wet can easily cause you to lose your footing. Surfaces that are cracked, uneven, or laden with tripping hazards may catch your foot and make you stumble and fall. Under Washington state law, property owners are obligated to keep their premises safe and free of hazards for any lawful visitors. Unfortunately, some proprietors may fail to ensure that their floors are fully dry before inviting customers inside, or they may fail to clearly alert visitors to any potential hazards. Such negligence can lead to slip and fall accidents.
3. To Take Legal Action, You’ll Need to Establish That Negligence Occurred
If you suffer an injury due to a slip and fall accident that took place on someone else’s property, it’s important to realize that they are not automatically legally responsible for your injuries. You and your attorney will need to clearly identify the specific hazard that caused you to slip and fall, such as the slick floor or the cracked pavement. It must also be determined that the property owner either created the hazardous condition or knew of the existence of the hazard and yet did not take steps to address it. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case is a great way to learn more about the process and your chances of receiving compensation.
To learn more about what steps you can take following a slip and fall accident in the Vancouver or Camas area, contact the skilled and compassionate legal team at Henderson Taylor Law Firm by calling (360) 737-1478 today.