What to Do After a Slip & Fall Injury in Michigan
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Slip and fall accidents are used as comedic devices in movies and T.V. but are no laughing matter to real-life victims. A fall when you least expect it can lead to permanent injuries, a pile of expensive medical bills, or even death.
The actions you take following a slip and fall accident can affect the compensation you receive for your injuries. For example, seeking immediate medical care, staying off social media, and working with a slip and fall attorney can increase your chances of maximizing your settlement.
If you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident in which the property owner showed negligent care of the premises, contacting the Michigan injury lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you recover fair compensation for your injuries.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that arises when someone suffers injuries on another person’s property due to the property owner’s negligence. Winning a premises liability case means the victim must demonstrate that the property or business owner knew or should have known of the dangerous conditions and failed to take reasonable steps to fix them.
Common premises liability claims include slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and swimming pool accidents.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur due to one or more circumstances that cause a person to lose their footing and fall unexpectedly to the floor, causing injury. Factors that can contribute to a slip and fall accident include:
- Wet floors
- Poor lighting
- Poor maintenance
- Lack of a warning sign
- Defective sidewalks
- Poor maintenance of sidewalks
- Loose floorboards
- Loose electrical cords
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan workers suffered 22 work-related deaths due to slips, trips, and falls in 2020.
How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
With over 3 million elderly citizens in the United States seeking treatment and over 800,000 patients of all ages requiring hospitalization due to falls, it’s apparent that slip and fall accidents affect a significant part of the population.
Slip and fall accidents result in serious injury for one out of every five victims, while the financial cost of slip and fall accidents surpasses $50 billion annually.
Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents can range from a painful minor injury like a fracture to life-altering damage to a vital body function. When you work with Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., you benefit from the legal and medical experience of Eileen Kroll, one of our senior partners.
Eileen has worked on hundreds of personal injury cases and uses her knowledge from working in the nursing field to assess your slip and fall-related medical records to build your case.
Knee and Ankle Injuries
The knee is a complex joint vulnerable to injury, particularly when forcefully bent or twisted. The ankle is also susceptible to damage due to its small size and the fact that it bears the weight of the entire body.
Treatment for a knee or ankle injury typically depends on the severity of the harm. Rest and ice may be sufficient for a minor injury, such as a sprain. More severe injuries may require immobilization, surgery, or rehabilitation.
Wrist, Shoulder, and Elbow Injuries
Falls are a common cause of wrist, shoulder, and elbow injuries. When you fall, you instinctively put your hands out to catch yourself. However, this can stress the joints and ligaments of your wrists, shoulders, and elbows, leading to serious injuries.
The most common type of injury is a fracture, which can occur when bones are dislocated or crushed. Joint dislocations are also common and often require surgery to repair. In addition to these more severe injuries, falls can cause bruising, swelling, and muscle strains.
While most falls are not serious enough to cause long-term damage, it is essential to seek medical attention if you experience any pain or swelling after a fall.
Cuts and Lacerations
Falls can cause cuts and lacerations when you fall on sharp objects or surfaces or land hard on your body. If you have a cut or laceration, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately to stop the bleeding and maximize your chances of avoiding infection. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need stitches or other medical treatment.
A fall can result in a broken bone if the person falls with enough force to break the bone. Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, makes them more likely to break after a fall. People who have osteoporosis should take extra care to avoid falls. Wearing shoes with good traction and using assistive devices can help prevent falls.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden force damages the brain. TBI can cause various cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms. It is essential to seek medical attention immediately after a head injury, as TBI can have serious and long-term consequences. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical for minimizing the effects of TBI.
Common symptoms of TBI include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Light sensitivity
- Mood swings
TBI can also cause problems with memory, sleep, and intellectual functioning. In severe cases, it can lead to paralysis or coma.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is the nervous system’s superhighway, transporting vital signals between the brain and every corner of the body. When their spinal cord is damaged, a person can lose the ability to move and feel below the injury site. In some cases, paralysis may occur. Treatment for these injuries often requires long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation.
After a Slip and Fall Injury
Taking the proper steps after a slip and fall accident can ensure you minimize the effects of your injuries and solidify your claim for when you seek compensation.
Get Medical Attention
Your priority following a slip and fall accident should be to get the proper medical attention for your injuries. Early treatment can reduce the severity of many injuries, potentially saving you pain and recovery time.
Report the Incident
Reporting the incident gives you the first piece of solid evidence that your accident occurred. Filing a report with the property owner or manager ensures your claim moves forward smoothly, as your report can be crucial when negotiating with insurers or going to trial. Include all relevant details, such as what happened, where, and when. Keep a copy of the accident report for your records.
Document as Much as You can About the Accident
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, it’s critical to document the accident as thoroughly as possible. First, get the contact information of the property owner or manager. Then, if there are any witnesses, get their names and phone numbers.
Take photos of the scene of the accident, including any tripping hazards that led to the fall. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of any injuries you sustained. Finally, consult with an attorney to see if you have a case. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Do Not Give Statements or Sign Anything
After a slip and fall accident, it is natural to want to speak with the property owner or manager. However, it is essential to exercise caution before giving any statements or signing documents. The property owner may try to downplay the severity of the accident or shift blame onto you: the victim. Additionally, they may ask you to sign a release form that waives their right to file a claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
It is always best to consult with an attorney before taking action after a slip and fall accident. From helping you avoid making costly mistakes after the accident and negotiating with insurance companies to filing a personal injury claim and going to trial, an attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Establishing Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
To win a slip and fall case, you must prove that the responsible party was negligent. As a victim, you must show that the other side owed a duty of care, that there is a provable breach of this duty, and that your injuries are a result of this breach of duty.
Sometimes, this can be challenging to establish. For example, if you tripped on an object, not in plain sight, you might have difficulty proving that the other side knew or should have known about the hazard.
However, if you can show that the person responsible for the premises had prior knowledge of the hazard, you will likely be able to establish negligence with the help of a skilled attorney. It is important to consult an experienced attorney to determine whether or not you have a strong case.
What is the Michigan Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims?
The Michigan statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is three years from the date of the accident. In some cases, there can be an extension of the statute of limitations, for instance, if the victim is under 18 or your injury was not discovered immediately.
However, it is always best to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to determine whether the statute of limitations applies in your case.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Slip and Fall Case
The financial consequences of a slip and fall accident can affect your ability to live the life you were used to. Recovering economic damages such as medical expenses and loss of income can help you cope with the financial aftermath.
Victims can also recover non-economic damages such as mental anguish, quality of life, and loss of enjoyment of life that provide restitution for the intangible effects of a slip and fall accident.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer: The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel, and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.