Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence, and every year doctors in emergency rooms see thousands of patients for injuries sustained in falls. Back injuries are a common ailment associated with slip and fall accidents, and the severity of the injury can vary from minor muscle injuries to severe and debilitating spinal cord injuries. The effects of a back injury can include ongoing pain, limited movement, long-term disability and paralysis.
While these types of accidents are a daily reality, there are some cases in which the negligence or inattention of another person caused the fall and resulting injuries. If you suffered a back injury related to a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. A premises liability claim may be warranted.
Types of Back Injuries in Slip and Fall Accidents
Some common back injuries that can occur when a person is injured in a slip and fall accident include the following.
- Spinal cord injuries: Slip and fall accidents can result in spinal cord damage. These cases can be severe and may involve paralysis or death. When someone falls a great distance or endures significant blunt-force trauma, spinal cord injuries are possible.
- Sprains and strains: Common back injuries associated with slip and fall accidents are sprains or strains. These injuries are less serious in nature than a spinal cord injury and often can be treated with physical therapy, ice treatments or medicine. Surgery is often not necessary for the healing process.
- Herniated disks: A herniated disk involves the rupture of the cushioning disks between the vertebrae. This type of injury sometimes requires surgery, and in other cases, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine can treat the problem.
- Fractured vertebrae: In some slip and fall accidents, the victim may break vertebrae. These injuries can vary greatly in severity and may require surgery or other therapies to repair.
Determining Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
Back injuries can cause long-term disabilities and can be very costly and damaging for the victim. If your back injury occurred when you slipped and fell on someone else’s property due to the property owner’s negligence, you may file a premises liability claim to obtain reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning potential, and pain and suffering. However, you must be able to prove fault in order for your case to be successful.
In order to convince an insurance adjuster or judge that a property owner or other responsible party is liable for your damages, you must prove one of the following.
- The dangerous situation that led to your accident can be traced back to the property owner or other responsible party (such as an employee). You must be able to prove that a spill, broken floor tile or precariously placed object caused your fall, and the responsible person created the danger.
- The owner or employee knew about the hazard and did not act to remedy it in a timely manner.
- Another more reasonable person would have known about the hazard and would have fixed it or removed it in a more acceptable timeframe.
Filing Your Premises Liability Claim after a Slip and Fall Accident
When filing a premises liability claim, consult an attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will understand your duty to prove fault and will work to gather evidence and documentation that will build a strong case. Your attorney will have a keen understanding of the laws and how they affect your claim and will work to counter any defenses presented by the property owner.
David Bressman specializes in personal injury and premises liability cases. If you sustained a back injury in a slip and fall accident, call David Bressman to review your case. Call 877-538-1116 to schedule a consultation.