Whether due to icy sidewalks or wet floors, slipping and falling happens to most of us at some point. Slips and falls account for over a million ER visits every year and can lead to serious injuries, including spinal cord damage and broken bones. These injuries can lead to costly medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and trauma. If a slip and fall results from negligence on the part of a business, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical costs. Below, we outline important information about slip and fall claims.
What Causes a Slip and Fall?
Slip and fall injuries involve someone slipping and being unable to regain their balance before falling. There are many causes of this type of accident, but some common causes are:
- Icy or wet sidewalks
- Wet flooring
- Uneven flooring
- Slippery liquid on a floor, such as grease in a kitchen
- Loose or uneven rugs or carpeting
- Obstructions on the floor or a walkway, such as debris or cords
- Transitions between flooring types, such as from carpet to tiles
Whatever reason you slipped and fell, there may be an underlying act of negligence. For example, suppose you slipped on an icy sidewalk outside your favorite cafe. In that case, they may be liable for damages as it is their responsibility to keep sidewalks shoveled and sanded/salted to reduce the chance of people slipping.
What Should I Do If I Slip and Fall?
Any accident can leave you feeling upset and overwhelmed. Having a lawyer help you through your slip-and-fall claim will ensure that you have someone to guide you through a complex process. However, while a lawyer can help you after the fact, there are some things you can do yourself when an accident occurs.
Document the Area
Taking photos or taking notes of where you fell can be helpful. Was the area well-lit? Was there visible water on the floor or ice on the sidewalk? Were there signs posted telling you to take caution? Additionally, if anyone nearby could act as a witness to your fall, ask them if you could get their contact information.
Seek Medical Care
While some falls will leave us a little jarred, otherwise okay, many will do visible or invisible damage. If you notice bruising or cuts, have pain, or feel woozy, having a doctor check you over is always the best idea. Falls can lead to severe injuries, such as concussions if you hit your head, whiplash from the abrupt nature and force of a fall, and broken bones. Additionally, keep in mind that not all injuries will cause immediate pain. In most cases, seeing a doctor after any fall is the safest option.
Talk to Management
If you fall inside or outside of a business, then it is always best to report the incident to a manager. This will not only give you proof of your accident for slip and fall liability claims, usually via an incident report, but it will also help prevent future people from having the same accident, as the manager should take prompt action to remedy the situation’s safety. Remember to ask for a copy of the incident report for your records.
When Should I File a Slip and Fall Claim?
You should ideally file any claim as soon as possible. However, you have some time after an accident to work with a lawyer to file a claim. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years. This means that you have three years from the date of your accident to file any personal injury claims against a negligent business or person.
How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced personal injury lawyer can navigate you through a complex and overwhelming process when done on your own. They will help you gather evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, understand what damages you may be able to be compensated for, and handle any paperwork or a court case if it comes to that stage.
Zirkin and Schmerling Law is an expert team of slip and fall attorneys. With years of experience and a deep understanding of Maryland’s law surrounding personal injury claims, we are here to help show you how to file a slip and fall claim. Our Zero-Fee Guarantee means you won’t pay us anything unless we win your case. Schedule an appointment with us today or call 410-753-4611 for a free consultation about your slip and fall claim.