Monday, June 8, 2009

Watch Your Step

The generic term "slip and fall" refers to an injury which results when someone slips, trips, or falls as the result of hazardous or dangerous conditions. Ice, snow, improper lighting, or hidden hazards such as holes or gaps can all result in a slip and fall injury. In 2004, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimated 8 million suffered from a slip and fall.

Injuries from falls are more likely to be sustained by older populations as their bodies are frail and less flexible than younger generations. In 2005, the Center for Disease Control reported 15,800 people age 65 and older died from slip and fall injuries. The same year emergency rooms treated 1.8 million patients 65 and older who suffered an accident from trip and fall injuries. Of those treated, 433,000 were hospitalized.

The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include poor walking surface conditions which do not include slip resistant measures. In addition, some areas do no have sufficient visibility. Inadequate handrails and guardrails are also reasons why accidents occur. Lastly, areas which are poorly accessible or hard to reach can be hazardous.

If an injury occurs on someone else's property as a result of a dangerous property condition, the owner may be liable for the injuries. Substantial damage awards may be awarded through verdicts and settlements.

A Pennsylvania man received 18 million dollars in 2008 after he suffered severe spinal injuries when he fell down a manhole. The energy company that owned the property knew the manhole was being uncovered yet failed to fix the problem for 10 years. In Virginia, a woman received 12.2 million dollars in 2007 when she slipped in a puddle in front of a convenience store. The lady suffered permanent brain damage. Her personal injury lawyers were able to present evidence that the store had knowledge of the leaky awning which was creating the puddle but did not take any preventive action. In Delaware, 2.4 million dollars was awarded to the family of an elderly man in 2008. The man had slipped at his nursing home and broke his hip. The broken hip eventually led to the man's death. The nursing home facility was found to be negligent in its care.

If you have suffered a tragic incident, you may be entitled to compensation. Visit to learn more about your rights today.
Joseph Devine

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