When we are invited on to the property of another person or business, we expect that they will take steps to protect us from dangers. At a minimum, we expect a warning regarding something that could cause a burn, fall, or other injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes people fail to take these simple, reasonable steps, and an injury occurs. If you or a family member was a victim of a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a property owner, consult with an experienced Bentonville slip and fall lawyer today.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands how a serious slip and fall accident can impact a victim’s life, and he is here to provide you with the legal representation they deserve. Unfortunately, even the commonplace and seemingly trivial slip and fall can result in life-altering consequences for the accident victim. In fact, the National Safety Council has released statistics indicating that fall injuries are one of the most prevalent sources of injuries in the United States. Fall injuries result in close to 9 million emergency room visits yearly. Injuries due to falls aren’t just extremely costly; they can also be life-altering or fatal. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your legal claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm by using our online submission form.
Reasons a Bentonville, AR Slip and Fall Accident Would Occur
Slip and fall accidents occur because a property owner acted negligently in some manner. Property owners have a duty of care to keep their property free of any hazards that could injure a visitor to the property. Under some circumstances, a property owner may even owe a duty of care to a trespasser that entered their property.
Unfortunately, some property owners may fail to correct dangerous conditions on their property, which could make them liable to a visitor that is injured on their premises. In some cases, it may be possible for a property owner to avoid liability for an accident if they warned a visitor of an unforeseen danger. For example, if a property owner placed a wet floor sign in the area of a spill, this can be adequate notice to a visitor that they should exercise caution.
When dealing with an injury to a trespasser, a landowner may be liable if they acted recklessly. For example, using traps to protect a property can be considered reckless conduct for a landowner.
Slip and fall accidents are extremely common because they can occur anywhere. Slip and fall accidents can happen in many locations in the home, including on carpeting, stairways, or uneven flooring. Furthermore, they can occur due to loose or protruding electrical wires, children’s toys left on the floor, or because of poor lighting. Slip and falls can also occur outdoors on sidewalks, uneven walkways, or when ice and snow make travel hazardous. Slip and fall accidents can also occur at commercial locations such as in a large retail store. A spilled liquid may make the floor dangerously slippery, or items that have fallen from shelves could present a hazard. In short, the locations of slip and falls are limited only by where people can go or pass through.
When to File a Lawsuit for a Slip and Fall Injury Lawsuit in Bentonville
If you were a victim of a slip and fall accident in Bentonville, AR, you should consider filing a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries. When seeking a personal injury lawsuit, you should be aware that your suit is subject to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations determines the length of time that a plaintiff has to file a particular type of lawsuit against a defendant. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the accident. If a plaintiff does not file their lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident, they risk the possibility of the court barring their claim. Specifically, a defendant may move for the court to dismiss the lawsuit because it violates the statute of limitations.
Despite having three years to file a lawsuit, you should not wait to file your claim. Waiting too long to pursue your lawsuit can negatively impact your case. For example, essential witnesses in your case could have failing memory or could become unavailable.
Proving Liability in a Bentonville, AR Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Many personal injury lawsuits are based on a theory of negligence. The plaintiff must provide the court or jury with evidence that shows how the defendant acted negligently. Specifically, a plaintiff must prove the following four elements in their Bentonville slip and fall case:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care (e.g., to clean up a spill)
- The defendant breached the duty of care
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff suffered an injury that is compensable by the court
Damages for Slipping and Falling on Dangerous Property in Bentonville
If a victim is able to prove all four elements, they will be awarded damages for their injuries. Compensatory damages for an injury can be separated into economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate a victim for financial losses that are easily calculated. Noneconomic damages are awarded for injuries that are difficult for a victim to calculate.
Economic and noneconomic damages can be awarded for a number of losses:
- Medical bills
- Costs of rehabilitation or medication
- Loss of wages or future loss of wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Additionally, a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages under certain circumstances. Punitive damages are awarded when it is shown that a defendant committed a particularly heinous act. For example, if a defendant placed traps on their property and did not warn visitors of the danger, this could cause the court to award punitive damages.
Slip and Fall Injuries in Parking Lots
Slip and fall injuries can also occur in large parking lots that are common at many big-box retail stores. The hazards in a parking lot can be particularly varied and can include motorists, shopping carts, debris on the ground, loose or broken pavement, insufficient lighting, and many other hazards. In short, the owner of the retail store, who is often also the owner of the parking lot, must ensure that the reasonable care owed to business guests is extended to all the premises that are under the entity’s ownership or control.
Additionally, while slip and fall accidents at a parking lot are extremely common, a slip and fall accident can occur under many other circumstances.
Suing for a Bentonville, AR Slip and Fall Injury to the Elderly
According to the CDC, slip and fall injuries to those aged 65 years or older cost the U.S. healthcare system nearly $30 billion in direct costs. In 2011, emergency rooms in the United States treated 2.4 million older adults for non-fatal fall injuries. Nearly 700,000 of these patients suffered injuries of sufficient severity to result in admission to the hospital. The issue is so pervasive that 33% or 1 of every 3, older American adults fall each year. Up to one-third of those who fall suffer a life-altering injury that reduces their mobility and makes independent living more difficult. Unfortunately, as you age, the risk of a fall injury only increases.
When deaths due to a fall are fatal in older adults, the reason for death is most often a traumatic brain injury or injury to lower extremities. TBIs and lower body injuries accounted for 78% of fall deaths among older adults. A separate study also found internal organ damage to be a significant cause of fatal injuries making up roughly 28% of deaths. When injuries are non-fatal, fractures are the most common making up approximately one-third of non-fatal injuries.
As these injuries can disproportionately affect the elderly, they often could be left dealing with insurmountable medical bills and various other expenses. Our firm can help an elderly victim of a slip and fall accident to pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries. To learn more about filing a lawsuit for a slip and fall accident, continue reading and contact an experienced Bentonville personal injury lawyer.
Contact a Bentonville, Arkansas Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you or a family member was injured in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Bentonville slip and fall lawyer today. Premises liability lawyer Ken Kieklak is proud to stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a property owner. Ken Kieklak has fought for residents of Arkansas for years, and he is ready to fight for you. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law at (479) 316-0438, or contact us online.