Slip and Falls

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Study Shows Slip & Fall Accident Lawsuits Increase As US Population Ages

Slip and falls are one of the most common types of accidents around.  Slip and fall accident lawsuits are expected to increase over the next few years as the age of the U.S. baby-boomer population increases.  According to this study, seniors are more likely to experience a slip and fall accident and their injuries tend to be more significant. The study’s authors estimate that over one million people are injured in slip and fall accidents, that 16,000 people die from a slip and fall accidents every year and have identified the following five major causes of slip and fall accidents:

  1. Lack of slip resistance on walking surfaces

  2. Poor walking surface conditions

  3. Poor visibility

  4. Lack of, or poor condition of, handrails or guardrails

  5. Poor accessibility (to the area one is trying to reach)

The value of a slip & fall accident may be larger than you think…

If you think that a “simple” slip and fall accident means you can’t collect substantial damage awards, think again. While every case is different, these recent examples of slip and fall verdicts and settlements show that substantial damage awards do exist:

  • $18M: A Pennsylvania medical student settled his slip and fall case for $18 million in the summer of 2008 after an energy company failed to recover a manhole and the man fell 18 feet – causing him to suffer a severe spinal injury. His personal injury attorney was able to prove that the company had knowledge that the manhole was consistently being uncovered by the homeless to go underground in winter months for over 10 years, but did nothing to fix the problem.

  • $12.2M: A Virginia woman was awarded $12.2 million in late 2007 after she slipped on a puddle caused by a leaking awning at a convenience store. The accident left the woman with extensive and permanent brain injuries from the way her head snapped back when she fell. Her lawyer was able to prove that the store had known about the leaky awning, but failed to fix it or warn customers.

  • $2.4M: The family of an elderly Delaware man was awarded $2.4 million in the summer of 2008 after the man slipped and fell in a nursing home and broke his hip. The accident eventually led to his death. His attorney was able to prove that the facility was negligent in its care of the man.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation – even if it’s just to evaluate your options. We at the Law offices of Howard B. Herskowitz offer a free initial consultation, so finding out if you might be entitled to monetary damages doesn’t cost you a thing.

It is vital to bear in mind that the mere fact of injury “even serious injury” does not necessarily result in liability. Sometimes people are hurt and there is no recourse (other than to their own insurance, if applicable); liability exists when there is fault, and fault is generally based on intentional acts or negligence. Much of this depends on whether or not the owner or manager of the premises had, or should have had, reasonable notice of the hazard.

A slip and fall can happen in all kinds of places – on public sidewalks, private property, in retail establishments or on the job. Many people simply pick themselves up and dust themselves off after such an incident. However, serious injuries can unfold days, even weeks, after the fact. That is why a slip and fall should never be taken lightly.

People with slip and fall injuries should immediately have a complete doctor’s examination and x-rays, if warranted. And, whenever possible, they should take a photo of the accident site immediately following the slip and fall or as soon as possible afterward – in case the situation does turn into a personal injury lawsuit.

Many slip and fall injuries have relatively short statutes of limitations that require a suit to be filed within a relatively brief time period. If this deadline isn’t met, the right to make a claim may be waived. And furthermore, if the injury was caused by the negligence of a governmental entity, the deadline may be even shorter. Any delay in responding to an injury can put a case in serious jeopardy. Chances are increased that evidence will be lost or misplaced, witnesses will move or become unavailable, and the memory of important details will fade. Yet, there may still be a keen awareness of the pain from the injury, any lost wages and the frustration of knowing there could have potentially been compensation for this situation.

Contact us online or call us at 954-764-4750 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

Howard Herskowitz convinced his father, Aaron, to tell his World War II story of brutal enslavement under the Nazis and his escape to the Russians, for whom he became a hero. To learn more about this unforgettable story, please click the image to the right.

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