FAQs About Slip and Fall Accidents

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The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault know you have questions after you’re injured in a slip and fall. We provide answers to your most critical questions about this type of personal injury and how to file a premises liability claim. 

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  • How can I receive compensation for elevator trip and fall accident?

    Elevator accidents, although rare, can result in serious or even fatal injuries. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in this type of accident, it's important to understand how to protect your right to compensation. Elevator slip and falls Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Causes of Trip and Fall Elevator Accidents

    Some of the many potential causes of elevator trip and fall accidents include:

    • Irregular stopping and jerking
    • Poor leveling
    • Wet floors
    • Doors that close too quickly
    • Doors that close too forcefully
    • Doors that open when the cage is not there
    • Safety components that don't work correctly

    These problems can often be attributed to negligent maintenance of the elevator.

    Potential Injuries

    Elevator accidents can cause:

    • Broken bones
    • Internal bleeding
    • Head trauma
    • Amputations
    • Degloving injuries, where flesh is stripped from the limb after getting caught between the elevator door

    In the most severe accidents, fatalities can result. For example, people have died from being pulled into the elevator shaft after getting their legs or arms caught in the elevator door.

    Children, the elderly, and people with physical impairments are at a higher risk of being injured in elevator accidents, simply because they are more likely to have problems boarding or exiting the cage.

    Filing a Trip and Fall Claim

    A trip and fall claim from an elevator accident is a type of civil action seeking monetary damages. Louisiana law typically gives you one year from the date of the accident to file your claim.

    To win your case, you must be able to prove the following four key elements:

    • You were lawfully in the building.
    • You suffered an elevator accident causing injury.
    • A dangerous condition in the elevator caused your injury.
    • The property owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition.

    Proving the various elements of your claim will require presenting many different types of evidence. Witness testimony, surveillance video, photos of the accident scene, and copies of your medical records are commonly required. If applicable, building code violations or copies of past safety inspections related to the elevator can also be used to support your claim.

    Comparative Fault Rules

    If you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident that caused your injury, you can still receive compensation despite your comparative negligence. However, your compensation will be proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.

    Some examples of situations where you might be determined to be partially at fault for an elevator accident include:

    • You were drunk or under the influence.
    • You were running, jumping, or engaged in horseplay.
    • You were texting or engaged in some other distracting activity that kept you from paying attention to your surroundings.
    • You ignored posted warning signs.
    • Your injuries were caused by inappropriate clothing such as high heels or a long skirt that caused you to fall.

    Types of Compensation Available

    A trip and fall claim can include compensation for several different types of damages you've suffered as the result of your accident. This includes:

    • Immediate medical needs
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability
    • Lost wages while you were recovering from your injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if you've been left with a disability that will affect your employment prospects
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional trauma

    When a claim involves someone who has died in an elevator accident, it can include:

    • Medical care up to the time of death
    • Pain and suffering up to the time of death
    • Loss of future earnings to support the family
    • Funeral and burial expenses
    • The family's loss of the deceased person's care and companionship

    The best way to protect your right to compensation is to work with an experienced attorney to resolve your claim. Your attorney can document your damages, provide evidence to support liability for your injuries, and negotiate on your behalf to reach the highest possible settlement.  

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is committed to assisting Louisiana residents who have been injured in elevator trip and fall accidents. Contact us online or call our office directly 318.541.8188 to schedule a no-fee consultation.

     

  • How can I prove my slip and fall accident was caused by negligent maintenance?

    Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, and these accidents are often caused by negligent maintenance. However, you must be able to prove liability for your injuries before you will be awarded compensation. Negligent maintenance and slip and falls Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Elements of a Successful Slip and Fall Claim

    You are not automatically entitled to compensation if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. To win your case, you must be able to prove the following four key elements:

    • You were lawfully on the property.
    • You suffered an injury caused by an accident on the property.
    • A dangerous condition on the property caused your injury.
    • The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.

    Additionally, you must follow Louisiana's statute of limitations laws. In most cases, you have one year from the time you were injured to file your personal injury claim.

    About Negligent Maintenance

    Negligent maintenance refers to a property owner failing to repair a condition that would reasonably be expected to create a safety hazard. Some examples of negligent maintenance would include:

    • Broken light fixtures or switches
    • Loose handrails on stairs
    • Torn or ripped carpeting
    • Wood floors with missing boards
    • Warped or uneven floor tiles
    • Exposed wires on the floor
    • Cluttered areas that haven’t been cleared properly
    • Spilled liquids or slippery foods that haven’t been cleaned up
    • Potholes in driveways and parking lots
    • Cracked cement steps
    • Weeds that block the view of an outdoor hazard

    Evidence Used to Prove Negligent Maintenance

    To receive compensation for your injuries, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the area. Some types of evidence that may be helpful for this task include:

    • Photographs. Photos taken after your accident can document the condition of the area where you fell. Ideally, you want your photos to be taken from a variety of angles and immediately after your fall. If you wait too long to photograph the scene, the property owner may clean the area and fix the hazard.
    • Witness testimony. Someone who witnessed your accident can testify as to what happened before you fell and what the conditions in the area were like. Witnesses can also establish that you weren't partially at fault due to running, engaging in horseplay, ignoring posted warning signs, or taking other actions that show a disregard for your own safety.
    • Video surveillance. If you were injured in a building monitored by a video surveillance system, the footage can show precisely how the accident happened.
    • Building code violations. Building code violations may be used to establish negligent maintenance. However, even if there was no building code violation, it’s still possible that negligence occurred.  

    Other types of evidence that might help your case include:

    • Your clothing. Your clothing from the accident can establish that your injuries weren't caused by inappropriate footwear or tripping on pants or a skirt that was too long.
    • Medical records. Your medical records document your injuries and establish that your condition is consistent with a fall.
    • Journal entries. Your own journal entries can document how your injuries have affected your life, which may help you negotiate pain and suffering compensation.

    Evidence becomes more difficult to locate as time passes, so it's important to start the process of filing your claim as soon as possible.

    Types of Compensation Available

    A personal injury claim can include compensation for the damages you've suffered due to your slip and fall accident. These include:

    • Immediate medical needs, such as an emergency room visit, surgery, and a necessary hospital stay
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a brain injury, paralysis, nerve damage, or other form of permanent disability
    • Lost wages while you were recovering from your slip and fall injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if your injuries have left you with a permanent disability that will prevent you from returning to work, force you to reduce your hours, or have you working in a lower-paying profession
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain and the emotional stress or trauma associated with your injuries

    To learn more about protecting your right to compensation, contact us online or call our office directly 318.541.8188 to schedule a no-fee consultation.

     

  • How can I prove my slip and fall accident was caused by negligent maintenance?

    Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries, and these accidents are often caused by negligent maintenance. However, you must be able to prove liability for your injuries before you will be awarded compensation. Negligent maintenance and slip and falls

    Elements of a Successful Slip and Fall Claim

    You are not automatically entitled to compensation if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. To win your case, you must be able to prove the following four key elements:

    • You were lawfully on the property.
    • You suffered an injury caused by an accident on the property.
    • A dangerous condition on the property caused your injury.
    • The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.

    Additionally, you must follow Louisiana's statute of limitations laws. In most cases, you have one year from the time you were injured to file your personal injury claim.

    About Negligent Maintenance

    Negligent maintenance refers to a property owner failing to repair a condition that would reasonably be expected to create a safety hazard. Some examples of negligent maintenance would include:

    • Broken light fixtures or switches
    • Loose handrails on stairs
    • Torn or ripped carpeting
    • Wood floors with missing boards
    • Warped or uneven floor tiles
    • Exposed wires on the floor
    • Cluttered areas that haven’t been cleared properly
    • Spilled liquids or slippery foods that haven’t been cleaned up
    • Potholes in driveways and parking lots
    • Cracked cement steps
    • Weeds that block the view of an outdoor hazard

    Evidence Used to Prove Negligent Maintenance

    To receive compensation for your injuries, you need to prove that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the area. Some types of evidence that may be helpful for this task include:

    • Photographs. Photos taken after your accident can document the condition of the area where you fell. Ideally, you want your photos to be taken from a variety of angles and immediately after your fall. If you wait too long to photograph the scene, the property owner may clean the area and fix the hazard.
    • Witness testimony. Someone who witnessed your accident can testify as to what happened before you fell and what the conditions in the area were like. Witnesses can also establish that you weren't partially at fault due to running, engaging in horseplay, ignoring posted warning signs, or taking other actions that show a disregard for your own safety.
    • Video surveillance. If you were injured in a building monitored by a video surveillance system, the footage can show precisely how the accident happened.
    • Building code violations. Building code violations may be used to establish negligent maintenance. However, even if there was no building code violation, it’s still possible that negligence occurred.  

    Other types of evidence that might help your case include:

    • Your clothing. Your clothing from the accident can establish that your injuries weren't caused by inappropriate footwear or tripping on pants or a skirt that was too long.
    • Medical records. Your medical records document your injuries and establish that your condition is consistent with a fall.
    • Journal entries. Your own journal entries can document how your injuries have affected your life, which may help you negotiate pain and suffering compensation.

    Evidence becomes more difficult to locate as time passes, so it's important to start the process of filing your claim as soon as possible.

    Types of Compensation Available

    A personal injury claim can include compensation for the damages you've suffered due to your slip and fall accident. These include:

    • Immediate medical needs, such as an emergency room visit, surgery, and a necessary hospital stay
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a brain injury, paralysis, nerve damage, or other form of permanent disability
    • Lost wages while you were recovering from your slip and fall injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if your injuries have left you with a permanent disability that will prevent you from returning to work, force you to reduce your hours, or have you working in a lower-paying profession
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain and the emotional stress or trauma associated with your injuries

    To learn more about protecting your right to compensation, call to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with the Neblett, Beard & Arsenault legal team.

     

  • What is premises liability?

    If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may encounter a number of unfamiliar terms as you seek compensation for your injuries. One of these terms is premises liability, which refers to determining if a property owner is legally responsible for an accident.

    Premises liability laws require property owners to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. This includes fixing issues that are known safety hazards or providing warning signs indicating potentially unsafe conditions. Premises liability and slip and falls Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    Standard of Reasonableness

    Premises liability rests heavily on the standard of reasonableness. Some actions that are typically determined to be reasonable precautions a property owner must take include:

    • Using a wet floor sign to warn people of spills
    • Fixing ripped carpet or tile
    • Having handrails on stairs
    • Providing appropriate lighting
    • Clearing debris from a walkway

    Building codes can provide a starting point for determining what constitutes reasonable actions for a property owner, but the absence of a building code violation doesn't necessarily mean all appropriate precautions have been taken.

    Status of the Injured Party

    Premises liability classifies injured people in four different ways:

    Invitee 

    Someone who has a general invitation to be on the property such as a customer in a supermarket or retail store.

    Licensee 

    Someone entering the property for his own purposes but at the implied consent of the owner—such as a repair person or someone delivering a package.

    Social guest

    A welcome visitor to the property such as a friend who frequently stops by for visits.

    Trespasser 

    Someone with no authority or legal right to be on the property.

    Under Louisiana law, trespassers are not entitled to compensation for injuries they have suffered. However, the attractive nuisance doctrine carves out an exception for children who are trespassing but unable to understand the risk involved. The attractive nuisance doctrine most often applies to injuries caused by uncovered swimming pools and open pits.

    Comparative Fault

    Premises liability is subject to comparative fault, which means a defendant's ability to recover damages is proportionally reduced if he contributed to the accident by carelessness, recklessness, or inattention. It is assumed that adults have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure their own safety. However, in cases involving injured children, a child is only expected to take age appropriate safety precautions.

    Special Issues Involving Landlords

    Premises liability law becomes significantly more complex when injuries occur on property that is owned by one party and leased by another. Landlords can be held liable for injuries only if they were caused by safety hazards the landlord knew about and failed to fix within a reasonable timeframe. If the tenant failed to report the hazard or took actions that created the hazard, the landlord is likely not liable.

    How Premises Liability Affects the Right to Compensation

    Premises liability law allows injured persons to receive compensation via a personal injury claim if they can prove the following:

    1. There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property.
    2. The property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition.
    3. Their injuries occurred because of the property's dangerous condition.

    Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim from a slip and fall accident. A personal injury claim can include compensation for:

    • Immediate medical needs such as emergency room care, surgery, and hospital stays 
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability
    • Lost wages while recovering from injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability affecting the ability to return to work
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional stress or trauma

    If you've suffered slip and fall injuries due to another party's negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in determining liability, documenting damages, and negotiating with the insurance company for the highest possible settlement. To learn more, contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault’s dedicated legal team.

     

  • Who’s responsible if I’m injured in a slip and fall accident at the mall?

    Slip and fall accidents at shopping malls are fairly common, but these types of cases can present unique concerns when pursuing personal injury compensation. To protect your right to a fair settlement, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Slip and fall at the mall

    About Shopping Mall Slip and Fall Accidents

    Slip and fall accidents at malls can have a number of causes. For example:

    • Spilled cleaning chemicals or food
    • Wet floors due to rain or snow
    • Improper lighting
    • Lack of handrails or other building code violations
    • Damaged flooring such as broken tiles or ripped carpet
    • Defects in escalators such as misaligned handrails or broken entry mats
    • Being pushed or shoved by other shoppers at a crowded event such as a Black Friday sale

    Types of injuries victims may suffer include:

    • Concussions and other forms of head injury
    • Neck injury
    • Back injury
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Sprains and strains
    • Broken bones
    • Cuts and scrapes requiring stitches

    Liability For Slip and Fall Injuries

    It does not matter whether you were a paying customer at the time of your accident. If you were lawfully in the mall browsing or visiting with friends, you have the same right to be protected from foreseeable injury as a paying customer.

    Some factors that might affect liability for a mall slip and fall accident include:

    Where The Slip and Fall Accident Occurred

    Accidents inside a store are often the store's responsibility, while accidents in a common area are the mall owner's responsibility.

    Who Contributed To The Hazardous Condition

    If the store created the hazard by not cleaning up a spill or by failing to have crowd control measures in place for a heavily attended event, the store is responsible.

    Knowledge of a Potential Slip and Fall Hazard

    Parties cannot be held liable for a hazard they did not know existed such as a spill that had occurred only moments before your fall.

    Foreseeability of a Slip and Fall Accident

    To be held liable, a party must have been able to reasonably foresee that a condition would result in a high risk of injury to mall patrons.

    In most cases, either the store owner or the mall owner is liable for your injuries. However, a third party could be liable in some circumstances. For example, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of the escalator if you fell because of some sort of defect that created a tripping hazard.

    If you were engaged in horseplay, ignored posted warning signs, or failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury, you could be found partially liable for your injuries. You will still be eligible to file a personal injury claim, but your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault to reflect your responsibility for the incident.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    If you're injured in a slip and fall, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your right to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering:

    Report the Slip and Fall Incident Immediately

    As soon as you are injured, the incident should be reported to mall security personnel. You should report the incident even if you believe your injuries are minor, since more serious symptoms could appear at a later date.

    Attend to Your Slip and Fall Injuries

    Mall security officers will have a basic first aid kit and are trained to call 911 if someone is seriously injured. If you are transported to the hospital, ask for a copy of the patient treatment report when you're discharged.

    Photograph the Scene

    If possible, have someone photograph the scene where the accident occurred. This evidence is particularly useful if your fall was caused by a food spill or other temporary hazard.

    Get Witness Names and Contact Information

    Malls have security cameras in most areas, but witness testimony can present a more accurate picture of how the accident occurred.

    Make Note of What You Were Wearing

    Clothing can often be relevant evidence in a slip and fall claim, especially if the insurance company tries to argue that your long dress or high heels were impractical for the occasion and directly caused your fall.

    Contact a Slip and Fall Attorney

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team can advocate for your interests throughout the process of resolving your claim. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation

     

  • What if I'm injured in a slip and fall accident while on vacation in Louisiana?

    Louisiana is a beautiful and diverse state, attracting thousands of visitors each year who want to experience world-class jazz, delicious Cajun food, and the beauty of the historic French Quarter. However, some of these travelers may also experience slip and accidents while on vacation. Slip and falls on vacation

    About Vacation Slip and Fall Accidents

    Examples of some causes of vacation slip and fall accidents include:

    • Ripped carpet or cracked floor tiles in the hotel lobby that create a tripping hazard you don't notice as you're carrying bags to your room
    • Spilled food in a restaurant can cause you to fall
    • Poor lighting can cause you to fall while you're leaving a shopping mall
    • Loose handrails at a museum or other tourist attraction can cause you to lose your balance
    • Insufficient security can cause you to get pushed or shoved and ultimately fall due to crowds at a rowdy public event

    Slip and fall injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes requiring a few stitches to serious back, neck, head, or spinal cord injuries. In addition to ruining your vacation, these accidents can result in significant medical expenses and lost wages. In some cases, you may even be left with a permanent disability requiring ongoing care that affects your ability to earn a living.

    Liability for Injuries

    In general, the owner of the property where you were injured is liable for your expenses if he failed to take precautions to prevent reasonably foreseeable accidents. However, you may also have a third-party claim in some circumstances. For example, the cleaning company that failed to promptly remove a grease spill that caused you to fall or the manufacturer of a faulty escalator that made you trip could be liable for your injuries.

    Under Louisiana law, you may be found partially at fault for your injuries if you acted in a way that showed disregard for your own safety. Examples of situations where comparative negligence  may apply include:

    • You were in an unauthorized area not open to the general public.
    • You disregarded posted warning signs about safety hazards.
    • You were engaged in horseplay with another person at the time of your injury.
    • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    You can still receive compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.

    Travelers with physical disabilities such as a visual impairment can't be blamed for their injuries simply because of their disability. If you're visiting a public location, the owner of the facility has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for all patrons.

    How to Protect Your Right to Compensation

    If you're injured in a slip and fall accident while traveling, there are six steps you must take to protect your rights.

    1. File an accident report. Typically, the manager or site security staff can file a report of the incident. Ask for a copy for your records.
    2. Seek treatment for injuries. Getting an evaluation of any pain and discomfort clearly links your injuries to the slip and fall accident. Ask for a copy of the patient treatment report when you're discharged from the hospital or urgent care clinic.
    3. Photograph the accident scene. Have someone from your traveling group take photos of the scene where the accident occurred.
    4. Get witness names and contact information. After taking photos, your friend or family member should speak to any witnesses and get their contact information in case their testimony is needed at a later date.
    5. Document what you were wearing. Make note of what you were wearing at the time of the accident, including your shoes. Tears, rips, or blood splatters on your clothing can support your claim as to the severity of your injuries. You can also use clothing to establish that inappropriate footwear was not the cause of your fall.
    6. Contact an attorney. When you're injured while traveling, you'll want to speak with a local attorney familiar with Louisiana law. The state has a one-year statute of limitations for filing slip and fall personal injury claims, so you should begin searching for representation immediately.

    The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault have extensive experience handling slip and fall claims for both travelers and residents. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

     

  • Can I file a slip and fall claim if I was injured on church property?

    If you are injured while attending worship services or other activities at your church, synagogue, mosque, or house of worship, you may be entitled to compensation for accident-related expenses. Churches have the same legal duty of care for their visitors as any other public establishment. Slip and falls at church

    How Slip and Fall Accidents Can Occur

    Slip and fall accidents can occur in churches in many different ways. For example:

    • Interior lighting is dim to provide an atmosphere for contemplation.
    • The floors are often tile or marble, which can be slippery.
    • Steps leading to balconies and alters are often made of polished wood, which provides minimal traction.
    • Churches rely heavily on volunteers, who may leave items in unsafe locations due to a lack of training.
    • Spills may not be promptly cleaned up if staffing levels are minimal.
    • Due to a lack of funds, maintenance may be deferred—creating tripping hazards in parking lots and other areas of the facility.
    • You may injure yourself while volunteering at a church event.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    Even though a church is a nonprofit organization, most churches have employees, administrators, property, investments, and other financial assets. To protect their interests, they generally carry liability insurance. Coverage limits will vary, but most places of worship have policies similar to a small business that is regularly visited by the public.

    If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a church, you should seek an immediate medical evaluation. Even if you're only experiencing minor discomfort, you must rule out signs of a more serious injury while establishing a clear link between the accident and your condition.

    You must also report the incident to the minister, pastor, or church administrator. If you are unable to make an immediate report due to your injuries, ask a friend to family member to make the initial notification on your behalf. This is necessary to seek compensation from the church's insurance company.

    A slip and fall claim can include compensation for:

    • Medical care, including anticipated future medical expenses related to your injuries from the incident
    • Lost wages, including applicable loss of future earning potential
    • Pain and suffering, including physical pain from your injuries and the emotional distress you suffered from the incident

    How Fault Affects Your Compensation

    In some cases, you can be found partially at fault for injuries suffered as the result of a slip and fall accident. For example, if you ignored warning signs that a floor was slippery or jumped over a barrier to enter a restricted area, you could be found to have partially contributed to your injuries.

    You can still receive compensation if you are partially at fault. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. This reflects your financial responsibility for the consequences of your actions.

    The Value of Legal Representation

    Although most personal injury claims are settled out of court, it's still in your best interests to consult an attorney. While you may believe that church officials wish to do the right thing, the insurance company's top priority is protecting its bottom line. This means you could be left without the funds necessary to pay your accident-related expenses.

    It's understandable to be worried about legal costs if you've suffered injuries that have left you with medical expenses and/or limited your ability to work. However, personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means your attorney will accept a percentage of the settlement as a fee for representation. Under this arrangement, your attorney has a vested interest in the outcome of your case, and you're able to obtain an advocate for your interests with no upfront expense.

    The experienced personal injury attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are dedicated to advocating for the rights of Louisiana residents who've suffered injuries as the result of a slip and fall accident. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How are slip and fall claims for elevated falls different from claims for same level falls?

    Although the majority of slip and fall claims involve falls on the same level, elevated falls tend to result in the most serious injuries. If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident involving an elevated fall, it's vital that you understand how to protect your right to compensation. Personal injury elevated falls

    About Elevated Falls

    Elevated falls can take a number of forms. For example:

    • Falls down a flight of stairs
    • Falls from a deck
    • Falls from a balcony
    • Falls from a ladder
    • Falls from trucks, ladders, or other equipment

    Type of Injuries Associated With Elevated Falls

    Broken bones are typical injuries that occur in an elevated slip and fall accident. Fractures may occur in the ankles, legs, or pelvis, but they can also occur in the wrist or arm if the victim instinctively attempts to brace himself for the fall. In some cases, multiple breaks can occur.

    Head injuries become a serious concern when a fall occurs at an elevated level. The most minor form of head injury would be a concussion, but a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in permanent physical or cognitive disabilities requiring around-the-clock care.

    Spinal cord injuries below the neck can result in paraplegia, while spinal cord injuries above the neck cause quadriplegia. Complications of paralysis can include difficulty regulating blood pressure, inability to control bladder or bowels, sexual dysfunction, inability to breathe without a ventilator, and chronic pain. Depending on the height of the fall, this type of accident could result in a fatality.

    Types of Compensation

    A slip and fall claim can include compensation for:

    • Medical care, including emergency room visits, diagnostic tests, surgery, and physical therapy
    • Anticipated future medical needs due to a disability such as wheelchairs and other assistive devices or nursing care
    • Lost wages from the time you were recovering from injuries
    • Loss of future earning potential due to a disabling injury
    • Pain and suffering

    It's vital that you wait for maximum medical improvement before settling your slip and fall claim. This is the point at which you've either healed completely or your condition has stabilized enough that the doctor can reasonably predict your future medical needs.

    Claims for future medical expenses and loss of future earning potential will need to be supported by expert testimony. Medical experts can describe your condition, while life care planning experts can estimate the cost of your future care given current healthcare inflation rates. Vocational experts can testify as to your ability to return to work, while economic loss experts can quantify the value of your lost wages.

    A wrongful death claim for a slip and fall accident that results in a fatality can be filed by the deceased person's surviving family. This claim can include compensation for:

    • Medical expenses up to the time of death
    • Lost future wages
    • Pain and suffering, if the death was not immediate
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • Loss of the deceased person's care and companionship

    How Fault Affects Compensation

    Although property owners or managers have a responsibility to provide safe conditions for visitors and guests, this does not mean they are automatically liable for the accident. In some cases, the slip and fall victim is found at fault.

    In injuries involving elevated falls, drugs or alcohol may be involved. This would make the victim at least partially responsible for his injuries. Ignoring posted warning signs or engaging in horseplay would also be considered examples of partial fault.

    Someone who is partially at fault can still receive compensation for slip and fall injuries, but the settlement is proportionally reduced by the assigned percentage of fault.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Minor slip and fall claims that are uncontested may be settled without an attorney, but you should certainly seek legal representation for a slip and fall case involving permanently disabling injuries or a wrongful death.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team can advocate for your interests throughout the process of resolving your claim. This includes gathering evidence of liability, locating experts to testify about your accident-related damages, and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Does a wet floor sign prevent me from filing a slip and fall claim?

    If you've suffered ankle, head trauma or back and neck injuries in a slip and fall accident, you might think that you're not entitled to compensation if the area was marked with a wet floor sign. However, this is not necessarily the case. Wet floor signs and liability

    Wet Floor Signs Don't Automatically Protect Property Owners From Liability

    Plastic wet floor signs are intended to warn people of the safety hazard caused by a slippery wet floor. They are often used after mopping or in an entrance where rain or snow is likely to be tracked in.

    Wet floor signs are considered evidence that a property owner was trying to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury, but they do not provide 100% protection from liability. A wet floor would not prevent you from seeking compensation if your fall was also caused by another safety hazard. For example:

    • If the facility was poorly lit, you might not have been able to see the sign or the wet or slippery area.
    • Cracked tiles near a slippery spot on the floor could compound the danger caused by a wet surface.
    • Overly waxed or polished flooring could make the floor excessively slippery.
    • Obstructions in your path may have left you no choice but to travel through the slippery area.

    A wet floor sign would also be insufficient if it was used as an attempt to avoid cleaning up or fixing a hazard in a prompt manner. For example, if an employee spills oily salad dressing in high traffic area of a restaurant, a wet floor sign would be an acceptable temporary fix. However, it would be unreasonable for the restaurant to leave the oily and clearly hazardous spill in place all day when hundreds of customers were traveling through the area.

    How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Slip and Fall Claim

    Slip and fall cases where a wet floor sign was used to warn of potential danger involve considering many factors to determine who is at fault. In some cases, you might be considered partially at fault for your injuries. Examples of behavior that would be viewed as comparative negligence include:

    • You were talking or texting and didn't see the sign.
    • You were running or engaged in horseplay.
    • The area was designated as off limits and, you ignored the warning.
    • You failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to yourself.

    If you're determined to be partially responsible for your injuries, you can still file a slip and fall claim for compensation. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30% liable for your injuries, you would receive only 70% of the compensation you would be entitled to if the defendant was 100% at fault.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation in a Slip and Fall Case

    Your slip and fall claim can include compensation for:

    • Prior medical care received as the result of the accident and any anticipated future medical expenses due to permanently disabling injuries
    • Prior lost wages due to the accident and anticipated loss of future earning potential due to permanently disabling injuries
    • Pain and suffering, including the physical pain from your injuries as well as the emotional trauma you suffered from the incident

    After suffering injuries in a slip and fall accident, it's vital that you seek immediate medical attention. A prompt medical evaluation helps establish a clear link between your injuries and the accident.

    Once your immediate medical needs have been dealt with, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Since personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, there is no upfront cost for representation. You will simply need to pay a percentage of your final settlement as the fee for legal services.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is committed to protecting the rights of Louisiana residents who've suffered injuries as the result of a slip and fall accident. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • What if the defendant says my bad vision caused my slip and fall accident?

    If you've suffered injuries in a slip and fall, you may be eligible for compensation. However, if you have a condition that affects your vision, you should keep in mind that the defendant may try to use your impairment as a way to avoid paying damages. In this case, you'll need an experienced slip and fall attorney who can advocate for your rights throughout the process of resolving your claim. Visual impairment slip and falls

    How Visual Impairments Can Affect a Slip and Fall Claim

    A number of conditions can cause visual impairments that might contribute to a slip and fall. For example:

    • Hereditary visual impairment
    • Cataracts
    • Glaucoma
    • Migraines or other conditions that cause sensitivity to bright lights
    • Medications causing dizziness or drowsiness

    However, if you suffer from a medical condition that affects your vision, this doesn't necessarily mean you're at fault for a slip and fall accident. A property owner has a duty to provide reasonably safe areas for visitors or customers.

    In a public place, such as a restaurant or retail store, the property owner should expect that many different types of people will enter the establishment. This includes people with visual impairments, as well as those with mobility issues or young children who might not be attentive to potential risks. Therefore, property owners can't simply expect customers or guests to be solely responsible for their own personal safety.

    Regardless of your level of visual impairment, the property owner can be held liable for a slip and fall claim if he failed to fulfill basic safety obligations. This includes:

    • Clearing obstacles in walking paths
    • Cleaning up wet or slippery areas
    • Fixing torn carpeting or loose flooring that would be a tripping hazard
    • Ensuring bright lighting for maximum visibility
    • Providing handrails on stairs or in bathrooms
    • Regularly inspecting public areas for dangerous conditions

    Your own responsibility for your safety depends on what steps your doctor has recommended to deal with your condition. For example, if you were purposely not wearing your glasses or using your cane when the accident occurred, you could be found partially at fault.

    If it is determined that you are partially at fault for your injuries, this does not mean you are ineligible for compensation. Rather, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault to reflect your own role in the incident.

    Slip and Fall Claims as a Form of Medical Malpractice

    A slip and fall claim might constitute medical malpractice if your vision was temporarily impaired by having your eyes dilated or having a similar procedure performed on your vision. If the individuals providing your medical care knew you were unable to see clearly because of the care they provided, it would be reasonable to expect them to provide an escort before sending you into poorly lit or cluttered areas of the facility.

    Available Compensation

    Claims for slip and fall damages can include the following types of compensation:

    • Prior medical care received as the result of the accident such as stitches and diagnostic tests to evaluate you for a concussion or broken bones
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if your slip and fall injuries resulted in a permanent disability
    • Prior lost wages due to the accident, if you were unable to work because your injuries affected your ability to perform your current job
    • Anticipated loss of future earning potential, if your slip and fall injuries resulted in a permanent disability
    • Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma

    Documentation of damages is an essential part of pursuing a successful slip and fall claim. Expenses you've already incurred can be documented with bills and invoices, but expert testimony will be necessary if you're asking for compensation for future medical expenses or an anticipated loss of future earning potential. Pain and suffering is calculated based on a multiplier of your medical expenses or using a per diem method.

    Protecting Your Legal Rights

    Slip and fall claims can present complex liability issues, especially when you suffer from a visual impairment that the defense might try to use as a way to avoid taking full responsibility for your injuries. To protect yourself, you need to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team.