FAQs About Slip and Fall Accidents

Get Help Now

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. 

  • Page 2
  • 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.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Why are building code violations important in a slip and fall claim?

    If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident related to a facility's poor maintenance, proof of building code violations can be used to support your claim for damages. Building codes as evidence in a slip and fall

    Building Code Violations as Evidence in a Slip and Fall Claim

    Winning a slip and fall claim requires proving four elements:

    Duty.

    The defendant was required to provide a reasonably safe environment.

    Breach of duty.

    The defendant created a safety hazard.

    Causation.

    The breach of duty caused your slip and fall accident.

    Damages.

    The slip and fall resulted in injury-related expenses.

    Building code violations, assuming they are related to the circumstances that caused your injury, are valuable evidence in a slip and fall claim because they provide proof that the defendant failed to provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors to the property. They can also be used to refute accusations that your own carelessness contributed to your injury.

    Examples of building code violations that could lead you to slip and fall include:

    • Stairs with missing or defective handrails
    • Broken or uneven staircases
    • Steps that are too high
    • Steps that are too deep
    • Blocked or improperly marked exit doors
    • Improper handicapped access

    Learning About Code Violations for a Specific Property

    Building codes regulate how buildings are constructed in the name of protecting public safety. They address issues such as building design and durability, as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. They also designate that buildings must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design, have emergency escape routes, and hold to practices that reduce the risk of occupant injury.

    Building inspectors rely on code books, which are public record and available at your local town hall, city planning department, or records building. In some cases, building codes may also be online. Typically, local building codes are designed to follow the International Building Code (IBC) standard.

    In addition to learning of problems via a building inspection, code violations can also come about as the result of complaints from tenants, visitors, and others who have conducted business on the property.

    Both citations and convictions for building code violations can be used as evidence in a slip and fall case, although a conviction will be the most beneficial. The building code department and/or local municipal court can provide updates related to specific violations. 

    Supporting Evidence

    Although building code violations can be excellent evidence in a slip and fall claim, they are not enough to build your case on their own. Ideally, you want to provide photos of the accident scene, as well as testimony from witnesses to the accident or others who knew about the unsafe conditions that caused your slip and fall. If you were injured in an establishment monitored with surveillance cameras, this footage can also be used to support your claim.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    Personal injury claims related to slip and fall accidents can include compensation for several types of damages:

    Medical expenses.

    This includes emergency care and any necessary follow-up visits, as well as the cost of anticipated future medical needs related to your injuries

    Lost wages.

    You can seek reimbursement for lost wages while you were recovering from your injuries, as well as loss of future earning potential.

    Pain and suffering.

    Your pain and suffering compensation is intended to reimburse you for both the physical pain and emotional trauma related to the incident.

    The best way to protect your right to compensation after a slip and fall accident is to retain the services of a skilled personal injury attorney. An attorney with experience in slip and fall claims can help you assess the value of your case, gather evidence of building code violations to support your claim for damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How does comparative negligence affect a slip and fall claim?

    If you sustain injuries in any type of slip and fall accident, can may be left with significant expenses. However, if you're determined to be partially at fault for your injuries, your ability to recover damages will be limited. Comparative negligence in slip and falls

    Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Case

    A property owner isn't automatically considered liable for your slip and fall injuries. To receive damages in a slip and fall case, you must establish the following:

    • The property owner had a duty to provide reasonably safe conditions.
    • The property owner failed to provide reasonably safe conditions.
    • The property owner's actions or lack of action caused your injuries.
    • Your injuries resulted in a financial loss.

    Examples of cases where a property owner would likely be found liable for your resulting injuries include:

    • Failing to post warnings about slippery floors or other safety hazards
    • Using excessive amounts of wax or floor polish, or applying these materials unevenly
    • Neglecting property maintenance such as leaving cracked tiles or loose carpeting as a tripping hazard
    • Using inadequate lighting that makes it hard to see hazardous areas
    • Leaving debris on stairs
    • Missing or broken handrails
    • Violating building codes related to tripping hazards

    Types of Compensation Awarded

    If you can satisfactorily meet the burden of proof, you're entitled to receive compensation for the following accident-related damages:

    • Medical expenses such as emergency care, surgery, hospital stays, medication, and physical therapy 
    • Anticipated future medical needs, if the accident left you permanently disabled
    • Lost wages from the time you were unable to work during your recovery
    • Loss of future earning potential, if you've been left permanently disabled
    • Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma

    You must provide appropriate documentation for the damages you're seeking. This includes medical bills and copies of pay stubs, as well as applicable statements from experts to estimate the value of future medical expenses and loss of future earning potential. Pain and suffering compensation is most often calculated as a multiplier of your medical expenses, so that serious or permanently disabling injuries receive the highest compensation.

    How Comparative Negligence Affects a Claim

    Comparative negligence is a method of determining how each party's actions contributed to a specific event. In a slip and fall case, comparative negligence can be an issue if the other party believes your own carelessness was the cause of your injuries.

    You might be considered partially at fault for your injuries in a slip and fall case if:

    • You were texting while walking.
    • You were jumping, running, or skipping.
    • You were engaged in horseplay with another person.
    • You ignoring posted warning signs stating that the floor was wet or slippery.
    • You jumped over a barrier intended to keep people away from a specific area due to hazardous conditions.
    • You failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury such as using a handrail when going down stairs.

    If you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 25% at fault and would otherwise have received $100,00, you'd only receive $75,000.

    The Value of Experienced Legal Representation

    Obtaining legal representation is always recommended in a slip and fall case, but it becomes vital when comparative negligence questions are raised. Since there is no one set formula used to determine comparative fault, having an experienced attorney to negotiate on your behalf can often result in a lower fault percentage assigned to your case. A lower fault percentage can significantly increase your settlement offer, especially when your case involves serious or permanently disabling injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Is it malpractice if I suffer a fall in the hospital?

    Hospital falls can result in sprains, bruises, cuts, fractures, or head trauma. If you suffer a fall in a hospital, your case may be considered either a malpractice or premise liability claim. The appropriate type of legal action to pursue depends on the circumstances that caused the incident. Slip and falls in a hospital

    Falls Related to Medical Malpractice

    A fall in a hospital could constitute medical malpractice if a patient fell because of complications associated with his medical condition. Examples of this type of malpractice case might include:

    • Falls related to medication. If dizziness or loss of coordination are side effects of the medication a patient received, the hospital has a duty to take precautions to prevent falls. This might include using restraints, electronic monitoring devices, or beds that are difficult to get out of without assistance.
    • Falls related to a failure to diagnose a specific medical condition. Doctors who fail to recognize the signs of a stroke or other medical condition resulting in unsteadiness, confusion, and/or limited mobility can be held liable for malpractice if the patient falls.
    • Falls related to negligence. Hospitals have protocols for identifying patients as a fall risk when they are dehydrated or complaining of symptoms such as dizziness and lightheadedness. Neglecting to assist a patient or take other precautions to prevent a fall in this case could leave the facility liable for resulting injuries.
    • Falls when patients are left unattended. Hospitals that leave patients unattended during transfer or while waiting in treatment rooms can be held liable for failing to provide proper supervision and monitoring, even if the patient wasn't initially considered a fall risk.

    To prove a malpractice case, you must establish four key elements:

    • The existence of a doctor/patient relationship with a provider at the hospital
    • The correct standard of care for your condition, according to recognized medical experts
    • How the hospital deviated from appropriate treatment for your condition
    • The damages you suffered as the result of the failure to follow the appropriate standard of car—this can include the need for additional medical procedures or being required to take time off work to recover from your injuries

    Falls Related to Ordinary Negligence

    If you slip and fall in a hospital for a reason that isn't related to your medical condition, you would likely seek damages under ordinary negligence law. Examples of this type of case include:

    • You tripped over medical equipment while visiting a patient at the hospital.
    • You tripped on torn carpeting in the visitor's area.
    • You slipped on a wet or recently waxed floor.
    • You slipped due to poor lighting in a stairwell.
    • You didn't see a pothole in the parking lot and tripped as you were returning to your car.

    When a fall is related to ordinary negligence, the burden of proof is easier to meet. Instead of establishing the four elements of a malpractice case, you only need to determine what was reasonable under the circumstances with regard to proper hospital maintenance. For example, if you fell on a freshly mopped floor, you would only need to establish that the facility created the hazard by neglecting to place warning signs in the area.

    One factor that distinguishes medical malpractice claims from ordinary negligence cases is comparative carelessness. In a malpractice claim, the doctor and other members of the healthcare team have the responsibility to prevent you from falling. In an ordinary negligence case, your compensation can be reduced if you were careless in preventing injury to yourself. For example, if you didn't see a hazard because you were texting on your phone, you'd likely be found to be partially at fault for the incident, and your settlement would be reduced accordingly.

    Retaining Legal Representation

    When you slip and fall at a hospital, retaining legal representation is essential. An experienced attorney can advise you on the correct type of action to pursue and how to best document your injuries. Your attorney can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf, leaving you free to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back to your daily routine.

    The legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is dedicated to helping Louisiana residents protect their right to compensation after slip and fall accidents. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

     

  • Can I receive compensation from a store if I slip and fall while shopping?

    Stores have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their customers. If a store fails to fulfill this duty and a customer slips and falls while shopping, the injured party may be eligible for compensation. Slip and fall accidents while shopping

    How Do I Prove Liability for My Injuries?

    It's important to keep in mind that sometimes an accident is considered simply unavoidable. To receive personal injury compensation, you have to establish negligence on the part of the store manager or owner.

    One way to establish negligence is by providing evidence that the store knew of the dangerous condition and failed to fix it. For example, if another customer testified that the store manager was informed of a laundry detergent spill in an aisle one hour before you fell, this would show negligence in failing to promptly fix a potential safety hazard. Surveillance video of the scene of the accident before, during, and after the incident can alternatively be used as evidence to establish liability.

    Stores can also be considered negligent if a hazard should have been discovered in the normal course of business. This would include slippery spills in a restroom, by the entrance, near the cash register, or in any other high traffic public area.

    In some cases, violation of building codes can serve as evidence to support a slip and fall claim. For example, if the store was required to have handrails in an area and the lack of handrails contributed to the severity of your injuries, this helps prove negligence.

    Stores are typically not liable for injuries if the customer failed to take reasonable care to prevent a slip and fall accident. Some examples of this would be tripping because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, running into a large display because you were texting on your phone and not paying attention to your surroundings, or falling because you were running through the store and ignored clearly posted "Slippery When Wet" or "Wet Floor" signs.

    A store's liability may also be called into question if the accident occurred when you were in an area that wasn't open to the public. For example, if you went back into the stockroom of a retail store or into the kitchen of a restaurant, the store wouldn't be held liable because it couldn't reasonably anticipate customers being in these private areas.

    When Is Another Party Liable?

    When you are injured in a slip and fall accident while shopping, the store owner isn't always the party responsible. If the accident takes place on the sidewalk or street outside the store, the city or municipality responsible for maintenance might be liable. If the store is renting space from a property owner and a building code violation caused your slip and fall, the property owner might be liable.

    What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?

    A personal injury claim resulting from a slip and fall can include compensation for the following:

    Medical expenses.

    This includes emergency room care and any necessary follow-up appointments, as well as the cost of pain medication, crutches or a wheelchair, and physical therapy.

    Lost wages.

    The store may be held liable for your lost earnings if you were unable to work because of your injuries. Earnings are verified with your past pay stubs or a detailed account of your business activities if you are self-employed.

    Pain and suffering.

    Considered non-economic damages, pain and suffering compensation is calculated based on a multiplier of medical expenses or as a per diem rate for each day you suffered pain due to your injuries. This category of personal injury compensation is intended to reimburse you for both the physical pain of your injuries and the emotional trauma of the experience.

    What Is the Best Way to Proceed With My Case?

    The store where you fell will undoubtedly have experienced attorneys handling the claim, so it's vital that you have legal representation to advocate for your needs. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to helping Louisiana residents who've suffered slip and fall injuries while shopping resolve their personal injury claims. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What should I do after a slip and fall accident at the gym?

    Most of us view time spent at the gym as an investment in our health, but gym-related injuries can create serious medical problems. Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of gym injuries, leaving victims with hefty medical bills as well as lost wages during their recovery. Fortunately, compensation may be available to help you get back on track. Injuries at the gym

    Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

    Slip and fall accidents in a gym can happen in a variety of places:

    In the lobby.

    When warning signs aren't placed on a freshly waxed floor, guests may slip and fall.

    In the locker room

    If there is insufficient rubber matting or handrails, this creates a hazardous environment. Guests may also slip if wet floors aren't being mopped regularly.

    On equipment.

    You may lose your footing when using a treadmill or other workout equipment if surfaces are covered in sweat or cleaning fluids.

    In common areas.

    Cords from machines, loose carpeting, or personal items not properly stored in lockers can create tripping hazards.

    Slip and fall accidents can result in contusions, sprains, strains, broken bones, or a concussion. Injuries to the back, knees, ankles, or wrists are most often associated with a slip and fall accident, although it's possible to injure multiple body parts in a fall.

    How Liability Waivers Affect Your Claim

    Most gyms, even the smaller independent facilities, have a liability waiver that new members are asked to sign. The waiver effectively absolves the facility from responsibility for any injuries that occur on the premises. Waivers are typically not explained to prospective members and may be hidden in pages of introductory information about the gym's locker room policies and key deposits. As a result, many people aren't even aware they've signed away their right to sue until they've been injured.

    Fortunately, waivers can be revoked for two reasons:

    Vague or ambiguous language.

    A waiver that uses imprecise language that is open to interpretation is unenforceable. While most waivers are written by experienced attorneys, a waiver written by a small business owner with no legal training may not be enforceable due to poor word choices.

    Gross negligence.

    A properly written waiver excuses your gym from liability for accidents that occur as the result of ordinary mishaps, but it doesn't allow the facility to express reckless disregard for the safety of its members. A gym that knowingly fails to clean up overflowing trash cans or repair broken equipment can be held liable for slip and fall injuries regardless of whether the member signed a waiver.

    Protecting Your Right to Compensation

    If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident in a gym, there are several steps you can take to protect your right to a fair settlement:

    1. Report the incident to the manager as soon as it occurs. If possible, have other guests or gym employees on hand to corroborate your story.
    2. Take pictures of the scene. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene to document the tripping hazards or slippery surfaces that contributed to your fall. Photograph your visible injuries as well.
    3. Seek medical treatment. Have your injuries evaluated, even if they seem relatively minor. It's common for injuries to become more painful a day or two after the accident, but you need to establish a link between the incident and your injuries immediately. Follow the doctor’s recommended course of treatment precisely.
    4. Document your expenses. Keep copies of all accident-related expenses, including medical bills and pay stubs showing any applicable lost wages.
    5. Don't speculate about the cause of your injuries. Limit your communication to the basic facts and avoid making statements that could be interpreted as accepting fault for your injuries.
    6. Contact an attorney. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will help you determine how to best proceed with your case. Contact Neblett, Beard & Arsenault today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Don't wait. Call us today at 318.541.8188.