By George Saba, Dischell Bartle Dooley
“Help. I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”
We have all heard the phrase before and enjoyed a chuckle but slip and fall injuries are no laughing matter. Slip and falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injuries in this country. They can cause serious injuries with life-altering consequences.
Winter weather brings slippery conditions. Water is tracked into stores and businesses as well as mud and other substances. Floors may be over waxed or cleaned carelessly. Floors, if treated improperly, can become almost as slippery as ice.
Most people do not walk with their gaze fixated on the ground, but you should always be aware of the circumstances around you. Sometimes, however, a dangerous condition cannot be observed or is hidden. For example, an accumulation of water or “black ice” may be difficult if not impossible to see. Over waxed floors are almost impossible to detect and can create hazardous conditions.
While not all falls are caused by the negligence of others, a business owner has a duty to make its premises safe to the public. Many times, however, sidewalks and parking lots can refreeze causing black ice and slippery conditions. Unless these parking lots are properly inspected, these conditions can go unnoticed until somebody ends up on their back.
If a claim is later filed for your injuries, it is often difficult, if not impossible to recreate the scene at the time of the event. Conditions may have dramatically changed, or repairs may have been made.
In the unfortunate event of a slip and fall, follow these suggestions:
- Keep your wits about you.
- Take pictures of the scene.
- Look for scuff or skid marks you may have left.
- Make sure you immediately report the incident to the business. Get the name of the person to whom you have reported the incident.
- If you are with somebody, make sure that person’s name is given to the business as a witness.
- If your clothes are wet or dirty, take pictures or save them.
- Remember what type of shoes you are wearing.
Slip and falls are not always easy cases to win. These details will become important.
Accidents do happen but even if the fall was not caused by somebody else’s negligent conduct, most businesses carry medical insurance that may pay a portion of your bills, regardless of fault. Thus, it is imperative that you report the incident to the business.
Results matter at Dischell Bartle Dooley, a full-service law firm headquartered in Lansdale. Dischell Bartle Dooley attorneys have been helping individuals injured in accidents since 1977.
Click here to learn more about their commitment to results or call 215-362-2474 to talk with an attorney today.