Archive for the ‘Slip and Fall’ Category

Protect Your Guests from Slip and Fall Injuries by Avoiding Wet Floors in Your Home

Wet FloorWe’re headed into the stormy season, and that means there’s a good chance that the floors in your home are going to be wet from time to time. Whether the water comes from rain or from snow and ice melting from your winter boots, you need to clean up any slippery spots immediately. This is not only for your own safety or peace of mind: if a neighbor, relative or friend is at your home and they suffer a slip and fall accident, you could end up being financially responsible for their medical expenses and more.

When Injuries Happen in Your Home

You know that if someone were to get injured in your home because you failed to clean up a wet floor, you’d feel terrible. What you may not know is how that type of accident could affect you financially. Though most people have homeowner’s insurance that provides coverage, not everybody does: if you own your home and don’t hold a mortgage, you may have opted out of paying insurance premiums. That would make you personally responsible for any claims. Even if you do have homeowner’s insurance when you report an injury to your insurance company you run the risk of having your monthly premium go up. Some insurance companies may even decide that it’s too expensive to provide coverage for you and decide to cancel your policy if you file a claim against them. The best way to avoid this type of problem is to not have it happen in the first place, and make sure that your floors aren’t slippery.

If A Slip and Fall Claim is Filed Against You

If wet floors in your home do end up causing an injury to a visitor, you should expect that person will file a personal injury claim. Once your insurance company receives the claim, they will probably send out an adjuster to hear your side of the story and to examine your property. They will also contact the injured person and ask for information from them, including their medical records and bills. Your insurance company may try to offer a reasonable settlement, but if the person who was injured is represented by an attorney who believes that they deserve more, you could find yourself facing a long, drawn-out court battle, and on the receiving end of a big court judgment for the person who was hurt in your home.

Slip and fall lawsuits are designed to teach people to exercise more care and to punish those who are careless. Make sure that there are no wet floors in your home to avoid creating a painful injury for your visitors and financial hardship for yourself.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to wet floors, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We can help.

Increased Risk of a Slip and Fall Accident in Autumn

slip and fallAutumn is most people’s favorite season and for good reason. Between the fashion styles, seasonal drinks and the crisp feeling in the air, along with the impending holiday season, it can be a time of celebration and appreciation. However, the season also comes with a long list of risks for slipping and fall. These injuries can be serious but many of them can be avoided by understanding what hazards pose the biggest risk to personal safety.

Less Sunlight

Many people’s least favorite part of the season can also pose the biggest risk to safety. As the sun starts to set earlier and earlier in the day, there is less light to make judgment when walking after working or to get to your car. By having less light, there is lower visibility. This can mean slipping on wet surfaces that you would have otherwise noticed or tripping over a hole that should have been easy to spot.

Weather Hazards

In Connecticut, snow and ice are a threat soon into temperatures dropping. Whether there is frost from the night before or a light snow has come through, these hazards pose a big risk for slipping as they create slick surfaces. Add in the hazard of less light, and many are unable to see the hazards as they approach them. Being prudent and using illumination when walking through the dark can help avoid these potential risks.

Wet Walkways and Roads

Even when there hasn’t been any ailment weather, there is still a risk for wet walkways and roads from the morning dew and frost. Further, during the fall, leaves begin to fall off the trees, which can also create wet surfaces for walking and driving. Tile, brick, metal and glass are even more of a risk from the slickness that comes from the water that runs off the leaves.

Falling Objects

When the wind picks up and as the trees begin their winter hibernation, many items will be falling down. Most notably, tree branches fall often during this time. When you aren’t looking directly down and in front of yourself during this time, it can be easy to trip over a fallen branch or other items. In some cases, a fallen branch could have been on a property that should have been cleared for passersby. If a municipality or private owner breached their duty of care owed to you as a passerby, contact our team to discuss your potential case.

Is the Store Responsible for a Slip and Fall Accident?

slip and fall accidentIn most cases, when a customer is victim to a slip and fall accident, the store is responsible for the injury. However, this is not always the case. It comes down to who is liable for the injury and if it could have reasonably been avoided. Law tends to favor the customer in most incidents, as many slip and fall accidents are largely avoidable. But what determines if an accident could have been avoided?

For one, if the danger or hazard was known about or should have been known about by the owner or responsible party for the premises, the liability falls on the store. As an example, if someone spills water, the manager should know about it within a reasonable amount of time. If the water spills in an aisle and someone immediately slips on it, there was not enough time for the water to have been noticed or taken care of. However, if water spills in front of an employee or manager and a sign is not placed and it is not cleaned, which leads to someone slipping and falling, the store is liable for the damages that result.

This is because the law finds that when an invitee on the premises is injured, the owner or operator owes the visitor a duty of care, but that duty of care is within reason.

What Makes a Valid Claim

A case can only be considered valid if the following is true:

  • A duty of care is owed. In a store, the duty of care owed to customers includes a clean, dry floor, or signage warning of a hazard to help the public avoid those areas.
  • There was a breach of that duty. If there were no warning signs or no action was taken to remedy a situation, the duty of care has been breached.
  • The breach of duty led to the incident. For example, if the floor was not mopped and someone tried to get something off a high shelf that fell on their head, the two are not related.
  • There was damage or injury because of the incident. If you slip and fall but do not suffer any injuries, the store does not owe any type of compensation, as there is nothing to compensate.

If those four criteria are met, the store is responsible for the accident. However, missing an element doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a case. Contact our team today to get legal advice on your slip and fall accident.

Slip and Fall Accident: Was the Floor Slippery Enough?

wet floor slip and fall accidentWhen someone slips and falls, they might wonder if they have a case. If they slipped on a floor that was not properly marked as wet, they may have a case against the property owner or manager. However, there are important questions that must be answered to determine eligibility for compensation.

Was the Floor Slippery Enough?

The most important aspect of a slip and fall case is whether the owner was negligent. Someone slipping and falling does not necessarily mean there was wrong doing or an oversight by the owner or manager. Also, a slippery floor also does not immediately mean someone was negligent. Instead, to prove negligence, it must be proven that the owner knew or should have reasonably known the floor was unreasonably slippery.

Of course, “reasonable” can be subjective. To prove what was reasonable or unreasonable, additional questions must be answered.

Why Was the Floor Slippery?

To have a good shot at a positive outcome for a claim, there must be a good idea of why the floor was slippery to begin with. This can be as simple as identifying the substance that made is slippery such as:

  • Water
  • Other liquids
  • Wax or polish for floors
  • Foreign object such as fruit in a grocery store that is slippery
  • Lubricants such as grease or oil
  • Snow or ice

How Long Was the Floor Slippery?

For a case to be successful, it has to be proven that there was ample time to take action and that management should have known about the condition. For instance, a liquid on the ground for over half an hour is easy to prove that there was some level of negligence. However, if you slip only seconds after a spill, it is not necessarily reasonable to assume management or other employees should have been aware of the circumstances.

Was There a Warning Sign?

If management took the time to put a sign of the slippery condition, it’s less likely you will have a claim. This is because there are times when slippery conditions are not avoidable such as after a spill or when floors need to be cleaned or waxed. Additionally, whether you knew about the slippery condition will also play a role. If there was a warning either as a sign or verbally of the condition and you walked on the surface anyway, it is unlikely your claim will be successful.

In any personal injury accident, your legal representation is the biggest factor in success. Contact us at Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers today to learn more about our services.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Slip and Fall Accident in Connecticut?

After a slip and fall accident, the focus is often not on getting compensation but inattention immediately after an accident can cost you. In Connecticut, it is important to understand the limitations in filing a lawsuit after your accident. Gathering the right evidence at the start, such as having someone snap a photo of the scene, can help down the line. But how long do you have to file?

Do You Have a Case?

Before getting into how long you have to file, you should first establish that you should file. Chances are, if you have fallen to no fault of your own, you should file a lawsuit. In order for someone to be held accountable for your fall, one of the following must be true:

  • A spill was caused by the owner of the premises or an employee, or there was a worn or torn spot that was not fixed or had warning signage. Slippery or dangerous surfaces or items that are placed in such a way that they are underfoot also apply.
  • Either the owner or an employee should have known about the dangerous situation. In the same situation, a reasonable person overseeing the property would have noticed and had it taken care of or provided warning.
  • The owner or employee had knowledge of the danger but took no action.

How Long Do I Have?

Each state has its own statute that governs how long a victim has to file a lawsuit. In Connecticut, the same rules apply to a slip and fall accident as they do in a personal injury case. A victim has two years from the date of injury to file the lawsuit. Specifically, the law states no action to cover damages can be brought to a court once two years from the date of injury passes.

More simply put, if you feel the owner or an employee are responsible for your injury, you must file within two years from being injured. This makes it important to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to allow enough time to build your case. Talk to one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to set up a free consultation and get started on your claim today.

How Adjusters Calculate Pain and Suffering After an Injury

Connecticut Slip and Fall LawyerWhile it may seem difficult to put a numeric value on the pain and suffering one goes through after an injury, compensation for damages has to be calculated. This type of damages is classified as compensatory damages. The compensation is calculated based on a variety of factors, including the severity and duration of pain, along with the symptoms of lingering pain and emotional distress. Unsurprisingly, lingering symptoms can be difficult to prove in general, and even more difficult to reflect in a court-of-law.

When looking to prove you have been through pain and suffering following an injury, it is important to understand how an insurance adjuster will calculate pain and suffering.

Calculations Used

After you have completed your medical treatment and therapy, coming up with the monetary amount for medical care is relatively easy. However, putting a monetary amount to your pain and suffering is much more difficult. So how do adjusters do it? The basic method used is the 1-5x multiple system, where one is the lowest pain and suffering, whereas five is the highest amount. They will consider the following aspects:

  • Severity of an injury. Soft tissue injuries tend to stay within 1 – 2x the full amount of your care. However, harder injuries, such as a broken collarbone, will likely be between 2 – 3x as much. Brain damage, however, will be put at 5x or more of the amount.
  • Liability of the insured person. If the victim is partially at fault or a third-party intervened in such a way that contributed to the accident, the question of liability may affect compensation.
  • Future prognosis. When extended medical treatment is clear and evident, the amount of pain and suffering is increased. This is because having to go through long-term treatments adds to the emotional distress of the ordeal, making the award much higher.
  • History of jury verdicts. Many find it surprising that other awards could influence their award. Geographic location plays a huge role in this aspect of calculation. Someone injured in the Midwest will likely have a lower award than someone in NYC, which an adjuster takes into consideration.
  • Exceptions. When the aftereffects of an injury are high but the cost of medical care was low, the case will be considered under its own merits.

Don’t let an adjuster be the full force in deciding what you deserve after a personal injury accident. Our Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand how adjusters work and how to present a better case for a more profitable outcome.

What Can You Do Before Inclement Weather to Help Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents?

 When bad weather strikes and there’s snow and ice on the ground, most people worry about driving conditions. They reduce their speed. They make sure that their lights are on when it’s snowing. They make sure that they have plenty of windshield wiper fluid in reserve and that they have blankets in the car in case they get stuck. Unfortunately, they don’t take the same precautions once they step out of their car and set foot in parking lots and supermarkets. Store owners, commercial property managers, and even homeowners have a responsibility for making sure that all hazards are removed, and that includes removing snow and ice on walkways and cleaning up water from their floors. Failure to do so can leave them vulnerable to premises liability claims. But the slip and fall attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers want you to know that in many cases, those who suffer injuries in falls will also be asked about what precautions they took to make sure that they were securing their own safety. You can’t act with disregard for your own safety and then place all the blame on another party. Here are some ideas for what you can do before inclement weather to help prevent slip and fall accidents.

  • Make sure you keep your eyes open. Go around areas where there is ice and if there is clearly water on the ground, stay away from it. If there is no other path that you can follow, make sure that you take it slowly.
  • Be smart about your footwear. Wet or wintry weather is not the time for spikey high heels. Instead wear shoes that provide stability, warmth and traction.
  • If there are handrails available, use them. Whether you’re going up or down a set of stairs or the handrails are mounted for use by the handicapped on a flat surface, use them if there’s any chance of slipping.
  • Be aware that being inside is not a guarantee that you’re safe. The ice and snow that you’ve walked through has been tracked inside by the people before you, and that means that floors are wet and slippery.
  • Do you have a glasses prescription? Then wear them! Far too many people allow vanity or convenience to rule the day, leaving their glasses behind and leaving themselves at a disadvantage for watching out for hazards.
  • If you have a dog, install a fence around your yard. Having a fence can provide you with the ability to let the dog out back when it needs to go to the bathroom instead of going for a walk. Even if you and the dog enjoy the experience, there are some weather conditions where it’s smarter to skip it.
  • Carry a small bag of sand with you. It’s amazing what a difference it can make, especially when you encounter an area where a property owner has not yet gotten to shovel, salt or sand.

The best way to deal with a slip and fall accident is to avoid it in the first place. But if you’ve been injured and think negligence of a property owner played a part, call Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.

5 Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

October Blogs - slip-up-709045_1920

Slip and fall injuries are extremely serious. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls are behind over 8 million trips to the emergency room each year, leading all other reasons. Slip and falls that happen at work are the most frequent cause of lost days and the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. Perhaps most frightening of all, half of all accidental deaths that occur in American homes are a result of fall injuries. Falls can be particularly dangerous for those who are over the age of 65, as they are the second leading cause of injury-related death, and the leading cause of injury-related death for those over the age of 85. In far too many instances, slip and fall injuries are the direct result of negligence on the part of a property owner or manager. If you or someone you love was injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit that will provide compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

There are many different types of injuries that can result from a slip and fall accident. These include:

  • Fractures – Of all the injuries that can result from a slip and fall accident, fractures and broken bones are among the most common. Though most heal, fractures can give rise to a number of complications, including neurovascular damage, blood clots, and more.
  • Head – When a slip and fall results in a head injury, the end result can be as mild as a bump to as serious as a traumatic brain injury and brain damage. Victims can require rehabilitation and long-term care.
  • Torn tendons and ligaments – Though a torn tendon or ligament may seem a minor injury, it can have very real long-term consequences, including extended recovery periods, pain, and loss of ability. In many cases these injuries require repair through surgery.
  • Broken hip or pelvis – This injury is most common in the elderly, and can result in the need for surgery and prolonged inpatient or nursing home care. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, among older women the mortality rate doubles in the first year after suffering a broken hip.
  • Back, spine and neck – These types of injuries may result from the fall itself or from trying to avoid a fall by catching yourself. The physical impact of either can lead to a broken back, slipped disks, pulled muscles and more that require surgery or cause chronic pain.

Any of the injuries listed above can lead to medical expenses, lost wages, lost abilities, pain, and more. The impact on your physical and financial wellbeing, as well as your quality of live, can be devastating. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to help you get your life back in order following a slip and fall injury. Call us today to set up a free appointment to discuss how we can help.