Although we tend to take our ability to walk for granted, walking upright on two legs is actually a challenge, not only for older adults, but for the young and healthy as well. The human style of locomotion is essentially mechanically unstable, so we must take particular care to prevent falls, for our own safety as well as for the safety of other people of any age.
This duty of care for the safety of others is a legal responsibility for those who own or manage property where the public is invited or allowed, under the legal doctrine of premises liability. Anyone who owns, manages, or contracts to maintain a property may be held liable for the victim’s damages if they have negligently allowed a hazardous condition to exist, and that condition has caused someone to be injured or killed. And this pertains to workplace accidents as well.
Statistics on Slip & Fall Accidents
Many people are unaware of just how dangerous and how common slip, trip, and fall injuries are in the United States. Here are some statistics that shed light on the matter:
- More than 700,000 people are hospitalized every year because of fall injuries.
- Head injuries and hip fractures are the most common fall injuries that result in admission to a hospital.
- Twenty percent of all falls cause a serious bodily injury, such as a broken bone or a head injury.
- Approximately two-and-a half million elderly people receive treatment in emergency rooms for fall injuries annually.
- At least 250,000 older adults are hospitalized annually for hip fractures.
- More than 95 percent of all hip fractures are the result of a fall.
- About half of all college-age students fell in the course of their daily activities during a four month study by Purdue University.
- Fall injuries are among the top twenty most costly medical conditions to treat.
- The average treatment cost for a fall injury requiring hospitalization is $35,000.
- The cost of treating fall injuries rises with the patient’s age.
- Falls are the most frequent cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- The total cost of medical treatment of fall injuries is equivalent to around $34 billion annually in current dollars.
Preventable Causes of Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries
When a fall that could have been prevented occurs on someone’s premises, and serious injuries result, the victim may be able to recover damages in a civil legal action for premises liability. These are some conditions that commonly result in fall injuries that may be attributed to negligence on the part of the owner of the premises or of the party contracted to manage and/or maintain the premises:
- Wet, over-waxed, or slippery floors.
- Worn or ripped carpeting.
- Poor lighting conditions
- Narrow staircases
- Differing step depths
- Defective and poorly maintained escalators
- Electric cords and other obstructions
- Merchandise fallen from shelves
- Spilled food
- Floors that aren’t level
- Cracked, broken or uneven sidewalks and pavements
- Tree roots extending into walkways or under pavement, causing an obstacle, elevation of pavement, or other damage
- Potholes and other depressions
- Snow and ice allowed to remain on walkways
- Wet pavement cause by irrigation systems
- Wet leaves and debris on pavement
- Steps lacking handrails
Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident Injury Case
Whether the property where the injury occurred is owned by an individual, business, or government, it is usually covered by liability insurance. For the most part, if you make a claim for damages, it will need to be paid by the insurance company that covers the property. The insurer of the property is a business, often a large corporation, that makes profits for its owners by taking in more money in premiums than it pays out in claims. So insurers will typically put up a vigorous fight to avoid a high payout on any claim, and they have well-trained adjusters and legal teams whose job it is to protect their bottom line. Very few individual claimants have the legal knowledge and experience required to go up against these sophisticated corporations with their extensive financial resources. You need a legal advocate who understands the law and its application in premises liability cases and who is not only knowledgeable but also aggressive and committed to your rights and interests. In Baltimore and its surrounding counties, you can get the legal help you need by calling Randolph Rice Injury Attorneys.
Randolph Rice is passionately committed to justice for anyone who has suffered a serious injury caused by another’s negligence. He has the experience and work ethic that combine to give each of his clients the quality advocacy that yields results.
Get A Free Consultation From Our Baltimore Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Your initial consultation at the Rice law firm is entirely free of charge, and you will never pay a dime unless we win money for you. Maryland places legal time limits, called “statutes of limitations” on the amount of time within which you must file your claim. Missing an important statutory deadline can mean losing your right to the recovery you deserve; so the time to get started is now. The sooner you retain the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, the sooner we can get moving on our investigation of the circumstances of your case and begin preparing the powerful arguments that will maximize the odds of winning you a significant monetary award. Call and arrange a time to discuss your case today at either our Baltimore or Lutherville, MD offices. (410) 694-7291