Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Parkersburg
A slip and fall accident typically occurs as a result of tripping or slipping on a dangerous surface. Uneven, wet, slippery, snow-covered, or icy surfaces injure thousands of people each year in the United States.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in West Virginia or Ohio, you need to talk to personal injury lawyer Jim Leach. Slip and fall injuries can cause very serious medical problems, run up sizeable medical bills and hurt your earning potential and quality of life.
Jim and his team have years of experience getting results for people who have fallen on an unsafe surface because of the lack of reasonable care of a business or individual.
Call our offices today and let Jim Leach help walk you through your options. There is no charge to talk to Jim about your case, and we don’t charge attorney’s fees unless and until we recover compensation for you. If all you need is a little advice, we will give you that and charge you nothing. If your case requires assistance from a lawyer, we are prepared to put our experience, resources and persistence to work for you.
Here are some reasons to talk to slip and fall accident lawyer Jim Leach:
- He tailors his service to your needs, whether in consultations, at the negotiating table, or in the courtroom.
- He knows how insurance companies operate and how they determine a settlement value for your individual case.
- Jim Leach is a former prosecutor who has strong community ties and plenty of experience taking on big insurance companies.
- Our advanced case management system keeps your case moving forward so that nothing falls between the cracks.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Potentially dangerous or hazardous surfaces include:
- Icy, wet or snow-covered surfaces
- Torn carpeting
- Cluttered floors
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Loose floorboards
- Defective sidewalks
Types of Injuries Common in Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and fall accidents are the direct cause of over 1 millions visits to the emergency room. They are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falls are sometimes fatal, especially for adults over the age of 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 20-30% of those who slip and fall will have moderate to severe injuries, such as head injuries and hip or pelvic fractures.
The most common types of injuries seen in slip and fall accidents include:
- The most common fractures are of the hip, pelvis, arm, leg and hand. Treatment ranges from ice and pain medication for hairline fractures or areas difficult to splint, to splints or casts, or even surgery for more severe fractures. Some fractures never heal properly.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. These could include compression fractures, vertebral dislocation, ruptured or herniated discs, etc. Treatment usually involves surgery and/or physical therapy.
- Shoulder injuries. In addition to fractures, shoulder injuries can include dislocation or a damaged rotator cuff. Treatment usually involves surgery and/or physical therapy.
- Torn tendons and ligaments. Torn tendons and ligaments take time to heal. Treatment usually involves physical therapy and sometimes surgery.
- Head injuries. If the injury is to the head, there may be a brain injury as well. Brain injuries can require extensive therapy or rehabilitation.Some issues with memory, cognition, behavior and movement may never return to normal.
Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
Property owners are responsible for keeping their property safe for visitors. If your slip and fall accident was caused by a property owner’s negligent maintenance of the premises, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.
Premises liability law is the area of law that handles accidents that occur on public or private property, such as slip and fall injuries. Premises liability claims are mostly based on negligence.
There are three basic ways in which fault can be established in a slip and fall case involve showing the the property owner or their employee:
- Caused the hazardous condition
- Knew about the hazardous condition but did not fix it
- Should have known about the hazardous condition because a “reasonable person” would have known and would have repaired it.
West Virginia and Ohio follow the rule of comparative negligence or comparative fault both in allowing a claim to be brought and in determining the amount of damages. That means that if you were partially to blame for your accident, because of your own negligence, your award for your injuries and other damages may be reduced by the amount that you were comparatively at fault. The percentage of your comparative fault is determined by a judge or jury.
Questions About Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and Fall Accidents
Yes, they are slightly different. There are four kinds of fall accidents:
- In a slip and fall accident, the problem is in the connection between your shoes and the surface you’re walking on.
- In a trip and fall accident, the problem is a foreign object in the way, which causes you to stumble and fall.
- In step and fall accidents, where a hole or depression in the walking surface causes you to fall.
- In stump and fall accidents, an impediment causes the fall, such as a tree root causing unevenness on the walking surface.
Hazardous conditions exist when premises are not properly maintained, resulting in a dangerous situation which may cause an injury. They can be permanent or temporary. When they’re permanent, such as a missing handrail on stairs or a missing step, the property owner should have known about it and should have repaired it promptly. At the very least, the property owner must post a warning about it until the condition could be repaired. When the hazardous conditions are temporary, such as an icy pathway, the question arises as to how much time the property owner needed in order to remove the hazard. This would be something to examine in a specific case.
Hazardous conditions are covered by the area of law known as premises liability, because the owner of the premises is legally responsible for keeping them safe.
Depending on the exact circumstances, you could receive compensation for:
- Wage loss
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
Probably not. If you become injured at work, you will be covered by your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Are there occasions when property owners are not liable for slip and fall accidents on their property?
Yes, property owners will not be held liable when the injured person was trespassing. Children, however, would not be expected to see danger as an adult would and may not know they are trespassing. So in those cases, the property owner may be held responsible.
What to Do after a Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible. Receiving prompt medical treatment is the best way to ensure that your injuries heal properly. Furthermore, seeking medical treatment will help you document that your injuries were in fact caused by your slip and fall accident.
Many serious injuries can result from slip and fall accidents including:
It is very important that you seek medical attention immediately following a slip and fall accident as not all injuries will be obvious.
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident at a commercial property, file an accident report with the establishment as soon as possible. The report should describe:
- What happened
- Where it happened
- Who saw it happen
- Details about any hazardous conditions which may have contributed to your injury.
If your accident occurred on public property and your injuries were not severe enough to require the response of emergency services, file a report with the city, town or county as soon as possible, preferably on the same day as your accident.
If your slip and fall accident occurred at a private residence, you will not have to fill out an accident report. In this and in all cases it is a good idea to take detailed notes about the circumstances of your accident and take photographs of the accident site from many different angles in order to document the scene.
Types of Compensation You Could Recover
There are several different types of damages or compensation that you could recover for your injuries if someone else is shown to be at fault for your accident. For instance:
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
How Our Firm Can Help Slip and Fall Victims
Slip and fall accident injuries can take a toll on your finances and health. Insurance companies often do not cover medical expenses and other costs to the extent that you anticipate – at least not with their initial offer.
If you or a loved one has had a slip and fall accident in Parkersburg or surrounding areas of West Virginia and Ohio, please contact experienced premises liability lawyer Jim Leach today to schedule a free initial consultation. Jim is a serious lawyer who gets serious results for injured people with serious cases.
Jim Leach will take the time to answer all your questions, ensuring that every detail has been gathered. Once all the facts are organized, Jim will determine your best options for seeking maximum compensation.