Have questions about what counts as a slip and fall case? In this three part series, we’ve got answers to all the questions you wanted to know about but were afraid to ask! First we’ll cover the basics and answer the following:
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of personal injuries that people can suffer from. A slip trip and fall can occur wherever there is any kind of trip hazard on public or private property, whether it is a slippery floor, an unmarked ledge, or a loose cable.
The three elements that define a personal injury case are:
The injury itself.
The nature of the hazard that causes the fall.
The identity of the owner who is responsible for the hazard.
Most trip and fall incidents will occur at large consumer venues where a trip hazard is overlooked or not taken care of properly. For example, a wet spot in the grocery aisle of Walmart that was not cleaned up promptly, or a cable stretched along the floor at Home Depot that is not marked or secured properly. Every property owner has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their consumers and their guests while on their property.
While slip and fall accidents may appear to be simple matters, they are often some of the most complex and difficult personal injury cases to resolve. The key legal tenant that governs fault in a slip and fall case is whether a trip hazard is known, or should have been known, by the responsible party.
Knowledge of Hazard
Many times the main defense of a property owner in a slip and fall lawsuit is that the owner did not know, and could not have known that the hazard existed in the first place. What this boils down to is whether a company or property owner acted with enough prudence to prevent a hazard or not.
A grocery store such as Mariano’s may have cleaning schedules every 15 minutes to ensure no water or slippery substances exist on the floor. If there is evidence that a cleaning inspection was skipped or performed negligently, this becomes evidence that an employer should have acted differently to prevent an accident. However, without this evidence, it becomes difficult to prove that a property owner acted negligently; their conduct must then be weighed against the standard of reasonableness of other property owners.
To add to the difficulty in proving liability in a slip and fall claim, oftentimes larger retail chains will subcontract their cleaning or maintenance services to third party companies. So even if you sustain a slip and fall injury on Costco property, Costco may not be the proper party to file a lawsuit against.
Locating the proper party for your personal injury claim can be challenging and time-consuming. The property owner may refuse to cooperate or freely provide their information to the injured party. Slip and fall cases can be an uphill battle at the best of times.
Despite their inherent difficulty, slip and fall injury cases can also have substantial payouts to injured parties. Many large retailers like Jewel-Osco or Target will prefer to settle a slip and fall claim out of court rather than go to trial, in order to avoid negative publicity or risk a wave of claimants raising a class action lawsuit against them. A shrewd attorney will be able to leverage this against the defending party to secure generous settlements for their injured clients.
How much money does Walmart settle for slip and fall accidents?
Walmart gets sued very often, close to 5,000 cases are brought against the company each year. Majority of such claims come from Walmart’s employees and customers, often due to injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents on the store’s premises.
Many of these slip and fall injury cases have been settled out of court. The amount of those settlements vary from case to case. Some cases have been settled for tens of thousands of dollars and some for much more—hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
How much is a slip and fall accident worth?
The financial value of a slip and fall case largely depends on the nature and severity of the injury itself. Many times, the medical expenses incurred by an injured party can be considered the bare minimum value that a personal injury case is worth.
If you fall and break your finger, a property owner can be expected to pay for the cost of mending the broken finger, any intangible expenses associated with the loss of a finger during this time, and a good faith reimbursement for the trauma and pain associated with the accident. In a situation where you fall and injure your spine or head, these expenses will increase exponentially given the long-term care required and/or intangible loss of overall quality of life. These are all factors that weigh in on how much a slip and fall case will end up settling for.
Contact a Chicago Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a slip and fall incident, it is crucial that you obtain an attorney who can advocate on your behalf. A Chicago slip and fall lawyer at The Kryder Law Group focuses on tackling the inherent difficulties of slip and fall cases and has a proven track record in getting results for victims of slip and fall accidents.
What injuries can I get from falling?
A slip and fall, which make up about twelve percent of the eight million emergency room visits, may cause several different types of injuries. Generally, the types of slip and fall injuries can be broken into two categories: soft tissue and fractures.
Soft Tissue Injuries
These types of injuries, though very painful, generally cannot be identified by the naked eye. Diagnostic imaging is typically used to help the treating physicians diagnose these types of injuries.
Sprains, bruises, and tears in ligaments may not hurt right away and you may even turn down treatment at the scene. It is not only until several hours later, when you are at home relaxing or working, that you realize something is wrong and that you may be hurt.
Whether it is a hairline fracture or a compound break, the pain in these injuries manifest right away. They require immediate attention by a medical professional otherwise the problem will worsen. The break in the bone may be severe enough that it might require surgery.
The vertebrae in your back are there to protect your spinal cord. Though resilient, these bones are not invincible. The spine can be injured by violent or sudden twisting, improper stretching, or by direct trauma. By extension, it is possible to injure the nerves which send their signals to the spine. Spinal and nerve injuries are serious because they may be permanent and could result in a loss of sensation or use of limbs.
Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”)
Like injuries to your spine, you can injure your brain in a slip and fall whether or not you hit your head on the ground. This is because the sudden start and stop of your fall is enough to cause a jolt that may injury your brain. This is like getting whiplash in a motor vehicle accident: you may not hit your head but the sudden snapping motion will hurt.
How long will I be sore for?
There is no clear answer because it will depend on the person and the severity of the injury. It is not uncommon for a sprain or bruise to bother you for several weeks while broken bones will require a couple months of allowing the bone to heal. Injuries to ligaments may require longer periods of time to heal because blood does not reach those tissues as often as other parts of your body.
Your medical doctor will examine you and see what type of additional diagnostic imaging and treatment will be needed. Always consult with a medical professional regarding any injuries or pain you may feel in your body.
What happens to your body after a fall?
As discussed above, your body may not even recognize that it has been injured until well after the fact. It may take time for your body to respond to the trauma it received. However, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
Your medical doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine to help aid the body in its mission to reduce swelling. He or she may also prescribe a type of painkiller to help make the healing process tolerable. While your body is recovering from a fall, it is important to listen to your doctor. Ignoring your injuries or treatment plans may result in secondary injuries which may become permanent or chronic in nature.
Contact Chicago Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Chicago, you should contact an experienced slip and fall injury attorney at The Kryder Law Group. We’re ready to answer your questions, call us! It’s free.
Find More Answers: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Slip & Fall Accident Cases