What Are Common Injuries From Slip And Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents tend to result in very serious injuries because the defect causing the fall tends to be hidden and thus many times a person is unable to prevent the fall. Common injuries include ankle, leg, back, collarbone, wrist, and hands. These injuries typically occur as a person attempts to break their fall or lands awkwardly on their backside. I have also seen numerous knee injuries, including full ligament tears (ACL, MCL, fracture kneecaps) as a person stumbles, lands on their knees, or attempts to catch themselves during a fall. In addition to injuries to the extremities, I often see head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injury when a person strikes their head on the ground. Regardless the part of the body that is injured, slip and fall injuries tend to be more severe and often have a devastating effect on the quality of life.
What Factors Make For A Viable Slip-And-Fall Or Trip-And-Fall Case?
In a premise liability case, the plaintiff must establish the defendant acted negligently. This is done by showing:
- The person in possession of the land had a duty of care to the injured party. (The level of care depends on the visitor’s reason for being on the property.)
- There was a “breach” of or failure to fulfill that duty.
- The breach of the duty caused harm.
- The harm resulted in actual damages.
The location of the fall determines the property owners’ DUTY towards you. PA law recognizes three types of individuals who enter another’s land:
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon property that is the possession of another, without their consent to do so. In the case of most trespassers, the owner generally owes no duty of care. The owner need not make the premises reasonably safe for a trespasser. However, a property owner must refrain from intentionally, willfully, or wantonly inflicting injury on a trespasser. An owner cannot be indifferent to the fact his property may attract trespassers into a dangerous situation. Children are owed a higher duty of care, regardless of whether they are considered trespassers. A landowner’s duty to warn is also heightened with respect to children.
A licensee is a person who enters a property, with the landowner’s permission, for the visitor’s own purposes rather than for the landowner’s benefit. A higher duty of care is owed to a licensee than to a trespasser. For example, a social guest visiting friend or family is considered a licensee. A property owner has a duty to warn licensees of dangerous conditions on the property that create an unreasonable risk of harm if the property owner or occupier knows about the condition and it is not likely to be discovered by the licensee.
The highest duty of care is owed to an invitee. An invitee is either a public invitee or business visitor. A public invitee is a person who visits a property as a member of the public for a purpose that the land is opened to the public (museum, park, school, airport, etc.). A business visitor is invited to enter the premises for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with the owner’s business (customers, delivery people, and employees). The owner of such public and business properties must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition.
Once the duty of the landowner is established. The next step is to determine if any other party is liable for your injury. More than one entity may be responsible for your injuries, including work crews, security guards, maintenance personnel, or the criminal acts of a third party. It can be critical that all parties are quickly and correctly identified in bringing a slip and fall claim.
These factors in addition to the extent of your injuries will constitute your slip and fall claim. The extent of your injuries including medical bills, pain and suffering, degree of medical treatment, surgeries, and permanency of the injuries will constitute the damage portion and valuation of the claim.
For more information on Injuries Sustained In Slip And Fall Accidents, a personalized case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Troy Crichton, Esq. at (267) 225-3317 today.