Any time a person travels on foot, they are at risk of suffering a serious slip and fall accident. These types of accidents, which are sometimes called “trip and fall accidents,” can be caused by a wide range of property hazards and defects, ranging from icy sidewalks and dim lighting to rotten flooring and uneven surfaces. When a slip and fall accident is caused by the negligent, careless actions of another person, such as a landlord who fails to conduct critical maintenance, the injury victim may be able to recover compensation. Reiff & Bily is a Philadelphia personal injury law firm with nearly 40 years of experience helping slip and fall victims fight to recover that compensation.
At Reiff & Bily, we have earned the respect and authority that can only come from successfully representing tens of thousands of individuals. We are equipped with the tactical skill, the legal knowledge, the focused persistence, and the network of resources to manage your case effectively, investigating your accident and uncovering vital evidence to support your claim. Serving accident victims throughout Pennsylvania, our trusted Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers handle a wide range of cases, ranging from claims involving broken bones to wrongful death lawsuits stemming from accidental falls.
If you or a family member fell and was injured on another person’s property in Pennsylvania, our injury attorneys may be able to help. To discuss your accident in a free legal consultation, contact Reiff & Bily online, or call us today at (215) 274-0072.
Common Injuries in Slip and Fall Accident Claims
Slip and fall accidents may not always appear serious to onlookers, but unfortunately, these types of accidents are capable of inflicting severe, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. Some individuals have an above-average risk of being seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, such as adults aged 65 and older, who account for approximately 800,000 fall-related hospital visits per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Regardless of an individual’s age or occupation, falls are an ever-present risk in all types of indoor and outdoor commercial and residential settings. When an accidental fall occurs, it is common for serious injuries to result. Some examples of severe injuries caused by slip and falls include:
- Bone Fractures – Bone fractures (broken bone injuries) are very common in slip and fall accidents. The wrists and arms are particularly at risk, because it is a natural response for a person to extend his or her arms as a fall is happening. Other areas of the body where bone fractures are common include the hips, ankles, feet and toes, knees, the spinal column (“backbone”), and facial bones, such as the nose and jaw. According to the CDC, among adults 65 and older, “More than 95% of hip fractures,” or pelvic fractures, “are caused by falling.”
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) – The spinal cord plays an essential role in human anatomy, serving as the connective link between the brain and the rest of the body. If the spinal cord is pinched or severed, victims may experience partial or total paralysis, which is known as “paraplegia” (paralysis from the waist down) or “quadriplegia”/“tetraplegia” (paralysis from the neck down). It is not uncommon for victims of spinal cord injuries to also sustain injuries to the spinal column, or the vertebrae forming the backbone.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Concussions – Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury, a type of brain injury which occurs when the head is struck by or against an object. These injuries are very common, particularly when a person falls backward and strikes their head on a hard surface such as cement or wood. Often, those who suffer a traumatic brain injury or concussion report extended recovery times and are sometimes unable to return to their former functioning. Depending on the severity of the brain injury and where it is located, a victim of TBI may experience effects that include loss of sensation, chronic pain, incontinence, personality changes, or difficulty speaking and communicating.
These serious injuries require prompt, costly, and sometimes risky medical treatments. In addition, many of these injuries will result in lengthy rehabilitation times and can cause ongoing physical, emotional, and financial problems for their victims. For example, people who become paralyzed due to spinal cord injuries may need to leave their jobs, submit to invasive and expensive surgeries, and remodel their homes for improved access. They may also struggle with psychological effects, such as anxiety or depression. Whatever sort of injury a slip and fall accident results in, the resulting hardships to the victim are immense, particularly in scenarios where the victim was previously providing financial support for a family member, child, or elderly relative.
Bone fractures, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and many other types of injuries can serve as the basis for a personal injury claim in Philadelphia. If you or a loved one recently suffered any type of fall-related injury in Philadelphia or other areas of Pennsylvania, we encourage you to contact our law offices for a free consultation.
What Happens with Insurance After a Slip and Fall Injury?
When an individual or business knows or has reason to know of a serious property defect, yet fails to repair or isolate the hazard in a timely and reasonable fashion, the property owner may be considered negligent, and consequently, may be held liable for visitor, resident, or customer deaths or injuries caused by the property hazard. When a person is injured on another person’s property, it is known as a “premises liability” claim. Slip and fall accidents are the most common types of premises liability cases.
The way insurance companies often attempt to deal with such cases can cause confusion and frustration for injury victims. In many slip and fall cases, a property owner or business owner will attempt to make the accident seem less serious than it is, and will in some cases offer to pay for the victim’s injuries. In other cases, the business owner or property owner will offer payment through an insurance policy.
While these payment methods may seem to be a satisfactory short-term solution, many injuries from a slip and fall accident can last for years, or in some cases, even for life. If an injury victim accepts payment directly from the business owner, it may prevent the recovery of crucial compensation for ongoing medical care and support.
If a business owner offered to pay you directly after you were injured in a slip and fall accident, or offered you payment through an insurance policy, you should be extremely wary and should consult with an experienced injury lawyer before you sign any document. Many of the legal and financial documents drafted by businesses and insurance agencies will bar you from seeking any other financial compensation. While these offers often seem attractive, you should still be extremely cautious about inadvertently signing away your rights. In addition, keep in mind that many of these businesses and insurance companies will seek to negotiate with you as quickly as possible, even before you have had a chance to seek medical attention. These sorts of practices highlight the importance of speaking with an experienced fall injury attorney before you sign any papers.
Types of Slip and Fall Claims Our Injury Lawyers Handle
Slip and fall accidents can be caused by virtually any property hazard, whether indoors or outdoors. However, while the causes vary, many injuries can be traced back to negligent property maintenance, which allows preventable defects to become so dangerous that an injury or death eventually results. Some of the more common examples of ways that negligent property maintenance can cause slip and fall injuries include hazards such as:
- Construction defects
- Cracked or uneven pavement and curbsides
- Dangerous steps or stairways
- Insufficient lighting
- Slippery or wet surfaces or floors, or leaks/spills that cause puddles
- Unreasonable accumulations of snow or ice
- Unsafe railings, ramps, or banisters
Regardless of how a slip and fall accident occurs, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings after you have fallen. It may end up being very helpful for you take pictures of the site of the accident, or to fill out a detailed accident report if you suspect negligence or poor maintenance to be at fault. At Reiff & Bily, our Philadelphia fall injury attorneys handle claims involving both private and commercial property throughout Pennsylvania, including:
- Amusement parks
- Apartment buildings
- Bars and restaurants
- Cafes and coffee shops
- Convenience stores
- Department stores and retail outlets
- Fast food franchises
- Grocery stores
- Gyms and spas
- Hotels and motels
- Movie theatres
- Music venues and concert halls
- Office buildings
- Parking lots and parking garages
- Public buildings
- Shopping malls
Property owners have an obligation to ensure that there are no unreasonably unsafe conditions on their premises. If a property owner fails to maintain his or her property, leading to a dangerous condition that results in a slip and fall, there may be legal grounds for filing a personal injury claim.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Fighting for Compensation
As the victim of a slip and fall accident, your injuries may be more serious than you initially anticipated. You may have to take time off from work to recover, or even experience long-term or permanent disabilities from the accident. At Reiff & Bily, we have helped numerous clients recover compensation for their losses following serious trip and fall accidents, and are ready to help you fight for the maximum amount available in your case. It may be possible to recover compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages associated with your accident.
Our Pennsylvania slip and fall attorneys have been representing injury victims and their families for nearly four decades. We are highly experienced in dealing with complex liability claims against property owners and their insurance companies, and make all reasonable efforts to fight aggressively while offering clients the support and legal guidance they need. If you were injured in Philadelphia, we are here to help. To arrange a completely free and confidential legal consultation, call our law offices at (215) 274-0072, or contact us online.