When you think of serious slip-and-fall accidents, you may imagine that only the elderly are at real risk. After all, it's easy to imagine someone who is frail and suffering from osteoporosis sustaining serious injuries when he or she falls. It's harder to picture a healthy adult or a child getting seriously hurt because of a slip-and-fall accident.
However, these accidents happen all the time, to people of all ages. A million people every year go to the emergency room for slip-and-fall accidents. For young children, serious falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. For seniors, slips can result in broken bones. The same is true of teenagers and adults.
Suddenly slipping on a wet or slick floor can result in a number of injuries. You could strain or sprain soft tissue in your back, neck or legs. You could hit your head, resulting in a skull fracture or a severe closed-head injury. You could break your bones, tear connective tissue or even damage your spinal cord. Any of these injuries would require emergency trauma care. Many of them could result in surgeries, long-term hospitalization and the need for rehabilitation and physical therapy services. A simple slip-and-fall accident could cost you thousands of dollars and months of your life.
Businesses should maintain safe facilities
When you stop into a store or pay a visit to your accountant, you assume that the premises will be safe for you. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for a space to become unsafe for someone passing through. A sudden leak from the ceiling, dripping rain from someone else's clothing or even spilled coffee could make a hallway, room or entrance way unsafe for pedestrians. The owner or manager of a business should ensure that these issues are quickly addressed every time they arise. Failing to do so could result in incurring premises liability when you experience a slip-and-fall accident.
Premises liability is generally offset by a liability insurance policy. Businesses generally need these policies to receive operating licenses or even to sign a lease. After a slip-and-fall accident, you should always report what happened to the business right away before seeking medical care. After that, you may be approached by an insurance company. It's common for slip-and-fall victims to be offered a settlement. However, expenses can continue to build over time. You shouldn't agree to a settlement until you've had a chance to speak with an attorney about whether it's fair and reasonable.
An attorney can protect you after a slip-and-fall
Don't get tricked into signing a settlement offer for less than your ongoing medical costs and lost wages. As soon as possible after sustaining injuries in a slip-and-fall, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies or even help you file a civil lawsuit.