Most people think of slip-and-fall accidents as no big deal. This belief comes from popular culture, where television shows, cartoons and movies show comedians and other characters falling dramatically, only to get right back up, unhurt other than bruised pride.
In reality, a slip-and-fall accident can look a lot less dramatic than in movies and have much more serious health consequences. Whether the result of a dripping ceiling or an uncleaned spill, an accidental slip-and-fall can have long-lasting and expensive medical consequences for the person who falls.
Sometimes, slip-and-fall accidents have consequences like on television shows or movies. The person who fell may experience bruising, minor scrapes and discomfort where he or she hit the ground. Other people aren't so lucky. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause strains, sprains, dislocated joints, broken bones, spinal injuries and even head or brain trauma. Many people who slip and fall hit their heads, which can result in serious injuries, including concussions, loss of consciousness and even long-term damage caused by a traumatic brain injury.
Slip-and-fall accidents happen all the time
Every year, roughly a million Americans experience a slip-and-fall accident serious enough to send them to the emergency room. Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in a wide range of businesses, from the reception area of your doctor's office to the aisles of a toy store. Because these accidents are so common, most businesses obtain special liability insurance which protects them from premises liability. Premises liability is a special kind of liability associated with allowing the general public into your facility or office. Insurance helps limit the financial consequences of certain accidents to businesses.
In most cases, businesses that fail to maintain safe premises will end up liable for accidents that result. Basically, if the shop didn't clean up a spill or perform maintenance to address a drip or leak, the business is responsible for any injuries that happen to visitors as a result of that negligence. Ensuring that your accident gets covered by a company's insurance policy often requires advising an employer or manager of your accident as soon as it happens. Even if you don't have immediate symptoms of a serious injury, it is still in your best interests to file a report in case symptoms eventually develop.
Whether you have an immediate injury, like a broken bone, or a slower-to-develop injury, like a traumatic brain injury, you deserve compensation. You shouldn't have to miss work and spend your hard-earned wages on the treatment of injuries that could have been prevented by better building maintenance. You should explore all of your options after sustaining serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, including a civil lawsuit if the business isn't forthcoming with assistance in handling your medical expenses.