Virginia slip-and-fall accident attorneys
Most people think that if they ever suffer a serious injury, it will be from a traffic accident or while doing something risky. The truth is that people are injured every day while simply walking. While slipping on a bit of ice or a wet tile may seem minor, some falls can lead to lifelong disabilities, as well as steep medical bills.
One out of every five falls will cause a serious injury to the victim, such as a broken bone or head trauma (CDC). In Virginia, 25% of all seniors have reported having a serious fall every year, which is equal to the national average. The cost of these falls is staggering: about $50 billion is spent on medical care for non-fatal injuries, and $754 million is spent on fatal falls annually in the United States.
If you have been injured in a fall because someone else wasn’t careful, you may be able to get compensated for your losses. At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we work hard to help our neighbors get back on their feet after suffering a serious injury. If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall, you can talk to us for free and find out the best options for your situation. Call us, Virginia personal injury lawyers, at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777.
We all fall at some point. So we may think of slip-and-falls as minor accidents that are easy to shake off. Not so. When you slip, your feet usually fly out in front of you, causing you to fall backward. By contrast, when you trip, you will usually fall forward and then can catch yourself using your hands. However, when you slip, there’s typically nothing you can do to slow or stop your fall. This leaves you slamming into the ground, hard.
When you hit the ground after a slip-and-fall, the brunt of the impact is to your back, neck, and head. With forceful falls, particularly on hard surfaces, such as linoleum, tile, or concrete, that impact can lead to serious injuries, such as:
- Brain damage
- Skull fractures
- Spine injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Shoulder dislocation
None of those are minor injuries. Each could take months of rest and treatment to fully heal from, and many can leave you with lasting disabilities that have a severe impact on your life. After going through a serious slip-and-fall, always seek medical attention – because the shock and adrenaline from the accident may mask your pain or other signs of injury. If you have hurt yourself, and someone tries to tell you it was “just a fall,” remember how debilitating these injuries can be.
Almost any surface can become slippery under the wrong circumstances. Even rough concrete can become iced over in the winter. In our experience, most slip-and-fall accidents happen in a few primary places, including:
- Businesses with wet linoleum or tile floors
- Sidewalks and roads that have not been properly cleared of ice
- Wet stairs without adequate handrails
- Loose carpeting in offices, business, or homes
- Pool areas that have not been dried or fitted with slip-resistant materials
- Objects left on the floor that create trip hazards
In most of these scenarios, you are not at fault for slipping. When visiting another party’s property, you expect to be reasonably safe, and that includes from slipping hazards. The court agrees, and so long as you were lawfully on the property, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries.
What does lawfully mean in this case? Well, to hold a property owner liable following a slip-and-fall, you must be either an invitee or a licensee: someone who was asked to visit, such as a family member or friend, or someone who was on a property to conduct business. If you are a trespasser, or someone who was on private property without permission, the court will likely decide that the property owner was not responsible for your injuries.
Civil lawsuits dealing with this type of accident fall under the legal concept of "premises liability." Premises liability means that a property’s owner or manager has a "duty of care" to make sure the property is kept in a reasonably safe condition. If the property owner’s or caretaker’s negligence has allowed an unsafe condition, and that unsafe condition has caused a fall that resulted in your injury, then he is legally responsible for the cost of your injury.
For instance, let’s say you go to a supermarket to pick up some groceries. Store employees have just mopped the floor, but they haven’t barricaded the area or put up "Warning: Wet Floor" signs. If you slip on the freshly mopped floor, that supermarket could be held responsible if you’re hurt.
When you are filing a claim, the first step to take is determining what compensation you are owed. This can help you avoid lowball offers, and successfully demand appropriate compensation.
What you can claim depends on how bad your injuries are and how they have affected your life. You may receive compensation for any or all of the following:
- Current and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Special equipment you need during recovery (crutches, wheelchairs, special beds, etc.)
- Household and vehicle modifications to accommodate your needs (wheelchair ramps, lifts, etc.)
- Property damage (broken watch, glasses, etc.)
- Permanent injury or disability
- Lost wages
- Loss of job or ability to do your job
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a limb
Remember, compensation is not just meant to cover your expenses, but also to make up for the pain and suffering you went through. Serious accidents are traumatic, and they can leave you in an emotionally fragile state. Compensation should pay for your bills, and leave you enough money to rest while you fully recover.
In the tragic event that a slip-and-fall took the life of someone you loved, your family can sue for wrongful death, which will allow you to claim additional compensation for funeral expenses and loss of benefits.
The person or company responsible for your injuries may not have hurt you on purpose, but you still need to have your bills paid. No one deserves to pay for a mistake that wasn’t their fault. Of course, we know that nobody wants to sue, and in an ideal world, nobody would have to. But the negligent party, and their insurance company, should rightfully pay for your injuries if they are responsible.
This is what we at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys do: we take care of our Virginia neighbors after they’ve been hurt. We offer expert, compassionate advice. To find out how we can help you, call our Virginia premises liability attorneys at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 for a free consultation. Remember, you don’t pay to talk to us. And if we handle your case, you don’t pay, unless we get payment for you.
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.