From the banana peel gag to cartoonish tumbles down the stairs, movies have made slip-and-fall incidents seem humorous. While a fall or tumble might inspire mirth in observers, slip-and-falls almost always cause embarrassment, if not injury, in the person who falls.
People often try to brush themselves off and move on, but reporting the fall and seeing a doctor is often a safer decision. If you slip on a spilled substance in the middle of the produce section at the grocery store or fall because of oily residue on the carpet by the front door of your gym, you might actually wind up severely hurt.
Slip-and-fall incidents often require emergency medical care
About eight million people wind up at the emergency room every year because of a fall. Approximately one million of those people will have experienced a slip-and-fall, rather than a fall from a higher elevation.
Someone who experiences a slip-and-fall could suffer several kinds of serious injuries. They could break a bone. The risk for a fracture increases with age, meaning that older adults could wind up with worse injuries in a situation where a younger person might just walk away. A slip-and-fall could also lead to soft tissue injuries such as sprains or strains.
Finally, if someone strikes their head when they fall, the result might be a traumatic brain injury or even death. People can and do sometimes die from a fall that takes place on a single level. Both brain injuries and broken bones might mean medical bills and weeks of time away from work while you recover.
Many slip-and-fall accidents are the result of negligence
The word “accident” implies a freak occurrence that no one could have predicted or prevented. Many slip-and-fall incidents are not truly accidents. They involve situations that a reasonable person knows leads to risk.
When a business delays repairs, performs inadequate maintenance or doesn’t clean up a spill, people can get hurt. If you got hurt in a slip-and-fall and believe that negligence played a role in the situation, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation against the business’s insurance policy or even file a civil lawsuit to recover your losses.