Over 800,000 people are hospitalized every year because of a slip and fall injury, according to data from the CDC. Data shows that one out of every five falls results in serious damage, such as a brain injury, hip injury, or broken bones. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, and they also account for 95% of reported hip fractures, in both older and younger Americans.
Slips and falls can be unexpected, scary, and may result in serious injury or unforeseen medical bills. When you have been injured in a slip and fall, most often you need time to heal, medical help recovering from the accident, and oftentimes financial assistance to handle any resulting medical bills. You might be left asking yourself what to do after a slip and fall accident to try to recoup some of the costs from being both out of work and in the hospital or doctor’s office.
After a slip and fall accident, help may be available to you. If you have suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident on another’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. Do not wait: Contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer at Shulman & Hill today to discover how we may be able to help.
Slip and Fall Statistics & Facts
1. Falls may directly cause brain injury. Falls are attributed as a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, one of the most dangerous kinds of injuries a person can experience. In the U.S., there were about 61,000 deaths from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the most recently recorded year. That amounts to about 166 TBI-related deaths per day. Falls lead to nearly half of TBI-related hospitalizations, according to the CDC.
2. Falls are costly. The average cost of a slip and fall is $30,000 – $40,000, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Because a fall can often lead to injuries, such as broken bones, bleeding, concussion, and more, seeking medical care for trip and fall injuries may end up costing more than you might otherwise expect.
3. More than one million people end up in the ER from slip and fall accidents. In fact, falls are among the leading cause of ER visits, linked to 21.3% of reported emergency care.
4. Slip and falls are the leading cause of injury across all age groups. Falls account for nearly one-third of all non-fatal U.S. accidents among all ages. Anyone can fall and find themselves seriously injured. However, falls are also the number one cause of death among older adults. Every 20 minutes, an older American dies from a fall.
7 Steps You Should Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
Every slip and fall accident is unique. Because of how common these accidents are, guidance for what to do immediately afterward can vary widely depending on your situation. A slip and fall at work may have different recommended steps you should take than a slip and fall in a store. However, there are several ways of handling a slip and fall injury that remain generally constant, no matter the facts of the case.
1. Seek immediate medical treatment
First and foremost, you should see a doctor or qualified medical professional after a slip and fall injury, even if your injuries appear mild at first.
Slip and fall injuries can lead to internal bleeding, which is among the serious consequences possible from this kind of accident. Symptoms of internal bleeding may not be visible right away but can be life-threatening. If you struck your head while falling, you may have also suffered a concussion or other serious head injury which may not present immediate symptoms.
Seeing a doctor will help you receive the best possible medical care, and ensure you have what you need to heal. It will also help keep a record of the accident, and ensure that the severity is appropriately documented by a professional.
2. Report the accident
Reporting the accident to the relevant manager or property owner where your fall happened is a key step in seeking financial compensation. For a fall at work, it is important to alert your supervisor or manager right away after the accident. Reporting what happened in real time will ensure that there is no lag in documenting the incident. It can also keep memories fresh, and ensure that any physical evidence is preserved. It may also be useful to ask bystanders if they would be able to share their accounts of the fall if they saw it happen.
3. Document everything you can
In order to build a strong case for compensation, it is helpful to document every detail of where the accident occurred, how the fall happened, and the extent of your resulting injuries.
In certain cases of premises liability, a property owner may be deemed responsible for your accident if certain conditions were present that caused or contributed to your fall. For instance, if a floor was being mopped and left wet and slippery without a caution sign visible, that might cause you to slip and fall. The best way to prove potential liability is to document that there was no wet floor sign out at the time of the accident and that the premises had been left in a dangerous state. Taking pictures and saving copies of all relevant communication concerning the accident will help show the facts of what happened.
4. Create and maintain a case file
It is important to keep a record of all of the details possible from your accident. Keeping records of everything can ensure that you have all the information necessary to pass on to your slip and fall attorney. Doing so also preserves evidence and statements in case the process takes longer than expected.
5. Save your clothing from the day of the injury
When in doubt, keep your clothing from the day of the injury. Clothing can hold valuable physical evidence of how the injury occurred, particularly if there are visible tears. Taking pictures of your shoes at the accident can also be useful, especially if an insurance company tries to claim that your attire was to blame in the event of a slip.
6. Reserve statements and blame
It is often not recommended to speak with insurers in-depth about your slip and fall accident before you have spoken to a qualified lawyer to ensure you do not say anything unknowingly that may hurt your case. Reserving statements and blame will help streamline your case, without devolving into a “he said she said” situation.
7. Contact a slip and fall lawyer
The best thing you can do for your case is to contact an experienced New York slip and fall lawyer. Shulman & Hill has a proven track record of experience. Our offices have helped thousands of New Yorkers recover more than $400 million in compensation after accidents like yours. Contact our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation and get more information about how we can help.