Slip and Fall

Slip and Fall Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property because of hazardous conditions, the law is on your side. Louisiana slip and fall lawyers at The Bart Bernard Law Firm are here to answer your questions and determine if you have a case for monetary damages. Call us today to set up a confidential case review in our Lafayette, Baton Rouge or Lake Charles locations.

Twenty percent of all falls result in serious injury such as broken bones or head trauma, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Louisiana laws stipulate that all business and property owners must ensure their grounds are reasonably safe for invited guests and patrons. When visitors are harmed because of a trip or fall on unsafe floors, they may have grounds for legal action.

Slip trip and fall causes

Accidental falls lead to millions of emergency room visits each year in the United States. Sudden changes in flooring surfaces, slick floors and aisles that are cluttered with debris are some of the leading causes of slip and fall accidents. Supermarkets, parking lots, apartment buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, theaters and amusement parks are some of the most common places where accidental falls occur.

Hazardous conditions that can cause slip, trips or falls include:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Bunched carpeting or rugs
  • Cracked or damaged tiles
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Newly polished floors
  • Unmarked changes in floor elevation
  • Damaged stair rails or treads
  • Loose flooring or carpeting
  • Debris in aisles or walkways

Even seemingly minor falls can culminate in severe bone fractures to the hip, wrist, arm, leg or ankle, dislocations and head trauma. The CDC reports that accidental falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S.

Slip and fall negligence

Trip and fall claims are among the most ubiquitous actions filed in civil courts. Our veteran slip & fall attorneys have decades of experience successfully litigating premises liability cases arising from negligence. In order to win compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish one of the following:

  • The property owner or their personnel should have been aware of an unsafe condition – such as a cracked sidewalk or wet floor – and remedied the danger, but did not. The primary theory of negligence is whether a reasonable person would have recognized the potentially hazardous condition, and whether the defendant had time to address the danger before the accident took place.
  • The property owner’s reckless or negligent actions actually caused a hazardous situation (by leaving clutter in an aisle, for example) and it was reasonably probable that the hazard could result in a slip and fall injury.

Not every slip and fall injury warrants litigation. In some cases, the victim is partially to blame for the accident by engaging in risky behavior on the premises or failing to see warning signs posted by the property owner.

What to do after a slip and fall accident

Whether you’re in a parking lot or a shopping center, your immediate actions after a slip and fall accident can have a major impact on your chances of financial recovery. In order to establish liability and build your case, it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment
  • Report your accident to the property owner or manager
  • Inspect the accident scene where you fell for obvious hazards
  • Take photos or video of the accident scene immediately
  • Identify witnesses and gather their contact information
  • Save the clothing and shoes you were wearing for evidence
  • Contact an experienced slip and fall attorney

Slips trips and falls statistics

Slip and fall settlement amounts

One of the most common questions our attorneys are asked is “how much is my claim worth?” There is no set method to calculate insurance payouts, but generally speaking, slip and fall settlements will factor in the following considerations:

  • Severity and extent of your injuries
  • Present and future medical bills
  • Pain and emotional suffering
  • Amount of lost wages
  • Whether injuries will result in permanent disability
  • Diminished earning capacity

Average slip and fall compensation

Every slip and fall case is unique, and therefore monetary awards can vary substantially. The following settlements procured may provide insight into the types of slip and fall compensation available:

  • $265,000 settlement– 87-year old plaintiff slips on an unmarked wet floor while shopping at a home improvement store, breaking her right hip in the fall. She required surgery and extensive hospitalization.
  • $85,000 settlement – A small child slips on slick bathroom floor at his elementary school, hitting his head and racking up nearly $30,000 in medical bills.
  • $1.9 million settlement – A New Jersey man slipped and fell in a Perkin’s restaurant parking lot, suffering serious injury to his shoulder and spinal cord. He later endured several surgeries to correct herniated discs and spinal damage.

Slip and fall lawsuit timeline

Under Louisiana law, you have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit after being harmed in a slip and fall accident. Victims who attempt to file a claim after the statute of limitations has expired may lose their right to legal compensation. For this reason, it’s imperative to contact slip and fall accident lawyers at the Bart Bernard Firm as soon as possible to get the complaint filed.

The majority of slip and fall cases are settled out of court by the defendant, especially when there is ample evidence suggesting the property owner knew about a dangerous condition but took no measures to correct it. This process is often quicker and less costly than arguing a premises liability lawsuit before a jury.

Slip and fall attorney

When you partner with Louisiana slip and fall attorney Bart Barnard, you can rest assured that we’ll work toward getting your case resolved as quickly as possible. Our legal team is well-versed in settlement negotiations and knows how to maximize payouts in trip and fall claims. Best of all, we collect no fees unless we settle or win your case, so there is no risk to you.

Don’t become a victim twice — protect your rights by retaining expert legal representation. Call us today for a no-cost case evaluation. We’re here to take your call anytime, 24/7!

Slips and falls: resources

  1. National Safety Council – Falls, http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/Pages/Falls.aspx
  2. National Floor Safety Institute, Quick Facts, http://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Important Facts about Falls http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.htm
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