According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls are a major cause of accidental injuries nationwide. Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of emergency room hospital visits. Each year, approximately nine million people seek emergency medical care as a result of slips, trips, and falls.
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can also be fatal. In 2009, there were 25,000 reported deaths which resulted from slips, trips, and fall.
In addition, slip, trip, and fall accidents are costly. Compensation and medical expenses resulting from slip, trip, and fall accidents cost employers nearly $70 billion each year. Furthermore, about a quarter of all slip, trip, and fall accidents result in more than 31 days away from work.
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to slip, trip, or fall accidents. However, they can affect every one of us.
Many factors can cause a slip, trip, or fall accidents. The most common factors are: areas prone to wetness or spills, unstable surfaces, unguarded heights, stairs, cluttered areas, and flooring materials.
If you are injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident, the factors that led to your slip, trip, or fall may have been caused by someone else’s negligence.
For example, last year, a Georgia man suffered injury to his spine after slipping on crushed fruit and falling on his back and a local grocery store chain. The man’s injuries required extensive medical care, resulting in $135,000 in medical bills. The victim was also unable to work for a prolonged period of time. After filing a negligence claim with the Georgia courts, the man was awarded over $2 million in damages.
During the course of litigation, it became evident that the grocery store chain destroyed and manipulated evidence which proved that they had knowledge of the hazardous conditions, but neglected to eliminate the danger in a timely manner.
If you have been injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident that occurred at a business establishment, you should consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to determine whether you have a legal claim for negligence against the business establishment as a result of your injuries. If this is the case, your attorney will be able to prove your case and secure compensation from the business establishment on your behalf.
The legal responsibility of a business establishment is referred to as premise liability. Under Georgia law, the owner of a business establishment has a non-delegable duty to patrons (also referred to as business invitees) to employ ordinary care in order to keep their premises and approaches safe. However, the mere occurrence of a slip, trip, or fall on the owner’s premises does not make them liable for the victim’s injuries. It must be shown that the business owner either know, or should have known about the danger, and failed to remove the danger in a timely manner.