Thousands of people are injured every year in slip and fall accidents. Whether you are a worker, an employer, or a person who has been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you probably have questions. You may be wondering what are the major causes of slip and fall accidents, what are the common injuries from a slip and fall accident, and is anyone who comes on to your property entitled to sue the property owner.
Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents cause people to miss work, incur large amounts of medical expenses, and miss time from work. If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
What are the Major Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Every year over a million people are seen in the emergency room because of slip and fall accidents. Injuries from slip and fall accidents can range from minor bumps and bruises to broken bones and deep cuts and lacerations. However, some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet or uneven surfaces
- Cluttered floors
- Loose floorboards
- Loose matting
- Defective or uneven sidewalks
- Improperly mounted handrails
- Improperly maintained stairways
- Improperly light stairwells, entrances, and exits
- Parking Lot potholes
- Poorly constructed staircases
- Torn Carpeting
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Weather related conditions such as rain, snow, and ice
However, the most common cause of slip and fall accidents is liquid that has been left on the floor. Whether it is water, juice, oil, or another liquid spills are a hazard to customers and people walking through any establishment. Spills are particularly dangerous when there is a concrete floor under and a slick surface common in many department stores.
What are Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
According to the National Safety Council, Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the U.S. Injuries from slip and fall accidents account for approximately 9 million emergency room visits every year and result in a substantial amount of lost time and money for both the workers and for their employers, as well as visitors. While some slip and fall accidents are minor, and people walk away with nothing but a bruised ego, many slip and fall victims are not as fortunate. Victims of slip and fall accidents commonly require ongoing treatment for their injuries and may be required to see several different doctors and specialists. The following is a list of some of the common injuries that we have noticed:
- Sprains – according to the United States National Library of Medicine, a strain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Sprains can be caused by falling, twisting, or getting hit. Some of the most common types of sprains are to the ankle and the wrist. When a person slips on liquid or trips on some other surface the sudden jerking motion can result in a sprained ankle or wrist.
- Fractures – A fracture is simply a broken bone. However, there are different types of fractures such as stable, open compound, transverse, oblique, and comminuted fractures. A medical professional to determine the appropriate treatment should analyze every fracture.
- Shoulder injuries – The shoulder joint is formed where the upper arm bone fits into the shoulder blade similar to a ball and socket. This particular joint is well designed to help people move their arms, however, it is susceptible to injuries from a fall. Elderly individuals are particularly at risk of injury if they slip and fall on concrete or any other hard surface.
- Hip fractures – A hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the thighbone according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A hip fracture is a serious injury that if left untreated can be life-threatening. As people age their risk of sustaining a hip injury or fracture rises. Often these injuries require expensive surgery and lengthy recovery times.
There are many other injuries that can result from a fall including, back and spinal injuries, head injuries, dislocations, cuts, abrasions, and even burns and scalds. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to receive some compensation for your injuries. However, before you are able to file a suit against a company you should understand that there are different types of people who may be on a piece of property.
What are the Different Types of People who May be on a Piece of Property in Arkansas?
Under Arkansas law, there are different types of people who may be on a piece of property such as a store or an apartment. Arkansas has determined that someone who owns a business or property has different obligations to trespassers, licensees, and invitees. The most important for someone who has been injured in a store to understand is what is the duty that is owed to an invitee.
An invitee is someone who enters someone else’s’ property with their permission, or for a purpose connected with the activity of the owner. There are generally two types of invitees: public and business. Public invitees are invited onto the property only “for a purpose for which the property is held open to the public” Business invitees may enter the property for purposes related to the business dealings of the owner. Business invitees only enjoy that status to the extent that they remain in the “portion of the building in which [they have] a legitimate errand.
A property owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of the invitees. The owner will be subject to liability if he or she knows, or would discover through reasonable care, a condition that involves an unreasonable risk of harm that invitees either would not discover or will not protect themselves against, and the owner does not use reasonable care to protect the invitee from danger.
In the case of a spill or liquid that has been left on the ground the courts in Arkansas have found that in order to prevail in a slip and fall case, a plaintiff must show either
- The presence of a substance upon the premises was the result of the defendant’s negligence, or
- The substance had been on the floor for such a length of time that the appellee knew or reasonably should have known of its presence and failed to use ordinary care to remove it.
While there may be exceptions to this general principle that a business owner owes from being found liable for a slip and fall accident such as protecting oneself from a known and obvious dangerous condition on a piece of property. Generally, if there is a dangerous condition on the property that would cause an unreasonable risk of harm to an invitee, and the property owner knows, or reasonably should know of the condition, the owner must use ordinary care to reduce or eliminate the danger, or to warn invitees about the danger.
Sebastian County Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Ken Kieklak
If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. We stand up for Arkansans who have suffered a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. To schedule your free and confidential consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.