Slip and Fall - who’s responsible for my injuries?

Once I fell walking into a hibachi grill. It was a crowded Saturday night and there were at least ten tables, all full of hungry families watching rice get fried and onion tower volcanoes. I hadn’t taken but four steps in through the door and WHOOSH- down I went. I was maybe fifteen or sixteen at the time, so the first feeling to course through my mind was “Oh gosh; how EMBARRASSING”. I picked myself up and brushed myself off, and followed the hostess to our table, a little worse for wear but mostly just red cheeked. My sixteen-year-old self did not realize that this is not the way to handle a slip and fall. The next day my back hurt, and I had a huge purple bruise blossoming over my tailbone.

Had I taken a moment to release my embarrassment and mentally scan my body, I may have realized that I had bruised my tailbone. I was lucky; sometimes victims of a fall can fracture their coccyx if they hit the ground hard enough. The hibachi grill had breached their duty to me and my family by failing to keep their premises in a safe condition. Had I needed physical therapy or surgery, that hibachi grill would have been liable. And that would have been OK; most restaurants carry insurance for just an occasion, but even if they don’t, that does not release them from liability for breaching a duty owed to you or any of their patrons. The same goes for most homeowners. If you are a guest in someone’s home and they fail to mitigate a known risk or hazard, you may have a claim against their homeowners’ insurance. Which again, is OK- that’s why people carry insurance; to protect themselves and you in the event of an accident.

There is a myriad of factors that may come into play when you fall. Was the floor wet or slippery? Were there wet floor signs? What were you wearing- high heals or sandals? Was the flooring level and if there was carpet, was it flat? We have worked many slip and fall cases, and have recovered for clients in many circumstances. While the factors mentioned above come into play, they typically only negate liability; they do not eliminate it. Hitting your head, broken bones and aggravating other pre-existing injures can all have serious consequences on you body, health, ability to work and the ability to enjoy your life. This translates into compensation for medical bills and your pain and suffering.

Here is the A.C.T.I.O.N list of steps to take after a slip and fall:

1. Assess.

Scan your body; does it hurt anywhere? Do you need to call emergency services?

2. Cause.

Why did you fall?

3. Take note.

Take pictures and record the names of witnesses around you.

4. Inform.

Let the homeowner or the management of the store or restaurant know about the incident and request that their insurance information be made available.

5. Organize.

Keep track of medical bills and therapy treatments. Collect your medical charts and keep a diary of your recovery and how your feeling.

6. Negotiate.

Reach out to the person or facility at fault and try to recover your damages.

An attorney can be incredibly helpful during this process. Reaching out early can increase the strength of your case and an attorney can maximize your recovery. At L. Turner Law, P.A., we do not charge any fees or costs in pursuing these actions on your behalf, unless we recover funds for you.

There is no risk in seeking to be reimbursed for the negligence or wrongdoing of another which results in injuries to you or a family member. If you slip and fall, take ACTION and call L. Turner Law, P.A. as soon as possible- we will fight to make it right!

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