Slip and Fall Accidents

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Slip And Fall Accidents

Brien Roche

Slip and fall cases can involve slipping on ice or snow, wet floors, tripping over a torn carpet or uneven surface or stepping into a pothole. If you have been the victim of such an injury, you may have basis for a claim. Such claims must be promptly investigated by an experienced injury attorney.

What to Do When Injured in Slip and Fall Accident

  • Report the injury to the owner or manager of the premises.
  • Get a copy of any accident report.
  • If you or a friend or relative has a camera, then take pictures of the entire scene.
  • Ask yourself what was it about the premises or area  that was defective or dangerous that caused your injury. You need to be able to explain this.

Slip and Fall Accidents May Require Use of Expert Witnesses

In a slip and fall case the right expert witness can make or break the case.  After a thorough investigation has been conducted some potential experts to be considered are the following:

  • Structural engineer.  If there is any issue relating to the engineering integrity of the premises a structural engineer can research and explain any appropriate code violations.
  • Trade experts.  Construction experts can help explain such things as why the cement on the landing of a stairway has disintegrated.  It may be that a construction expert discovers that there was a building code violation in that the necessary gravel and amount of cement were not used in the construction of the landing.
  • Weather expert.  If reports are  unlikely to be admissible at trial from the appropriate weather reporting agency, then a meterologist may be needed.   These types of reports can be obtained from the various government climate centers.
  • Medical witnesses.  Paramedics and EMTs who responded to the scene should not be overlooked as potential witnesses.  They may have critical info as to the source of the substance that caused the slip and fall or other pertinent info.

Alternative Slip and Fall Theories

Alternative theories may be helpful in the prosecution of your case. In  your typical slip and fall case you need to show that the owner of the premises had actual or constructive notice of the defect that caused the fall.  Sometimes that is not possible.  Liability may rest on the negligent method of operation or negligent maintenance of the premises. A property owner that does not have any receptacles for trash has in effect created a circumstance where trash is going to be deposited anywhere. A grocery store that allows patrons to walk around with open containers that are served in the store must expect that those open containers are sometimes going to be spilled. Injuries will result.

Method of Operation

To develop these theories of liability you must know the  method of operation. Is it either inherently dangerous or conducted in a negligent fashion? Did that conduct contribute to the injury in question?  If the defect was created by some problem that is off-site and which is not under the control of the owner, then the owner may still be at fault for not taking corrective action.  For instance, a store owner who knows that the floor in the store is constantly getting wet from a source that is beyond his control has a duty to divert the wetness or warn of its presence.
For more information about premises liability matters see the other pages on this site

High Heel Injuries

This is probably a subject that many women do not want to talk about. The simple fact is that human beings were not meant to walk in high heels. They were meant to walk heel-to-toe, with the leg at a 90 degree angle to the foot and the ankle joint then moving within a 60 degree range.

Common problems that arise from high heels are such things as calluses, corns, capsulitis (inflammation of the joint where the toes attach to the foot). Also neuromas (pinched nerves where the heels squeeze the toes) and problems with the Achilles tendon may arise. In addition, high heels can cause inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. High heels can also cause stress fractures or cracks in the bones of the feet.

High Heels and Slip and Fall Cases

From a liability point of view in looking at a slip and fall case you have to know the types of shoes that the plaintiff was wearing. High heels for obvious reasons are unstable. The bigger the heel in terms of width, then the more stability is provided. The skinnier the heel, then the less stable the shoe is.

All of those must be considered in looking at an injury claim.

Handling the Fall

The art of falling safely is not an easy one.  The Journal of Allied Health reports that people in the age range of 50 to 60 are more likely to fall than people older than that because people in that former age group tend to be more active.  The Center for Disease Control also reports that people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause.

Tuck and Roll

The traditional rule in terms of how to fall is to “tuck and roll”.  Tucking and rolling is easier said than done.  It may be very difficult if you don’t have a certain degree of athleticism.  Tucking your body in and rolling with the fall is the best way to survive a fall.

One thing that you do not want to do, which is almost instinctive, is to try to break the fall by reaching out with your arm. That results in either a hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injury.  What you should do is keep your limbs bent so that they can better absorb the blow.

If tuck and roll is out of the question then some basic things that you want to do are to protect your head. At the same time you should allow the impact with the ground to be absorbed over as much of your body as possible. Most of the impact should be focused on the meaty parts of the body. These the buttocks, upper legs or back.  If you’re falling forward then you should try to turn your face to the side to protect your head.  If you’re falling backward then bring your head forward to tuck your chin into your chest.

Exercises

In terms of preparing for and trying to avoid a fall, the best type of exercises that you can do are ones that increase what is called the “core strength”.  The core area of your body is that area from your chest down to your upper thighs.  Exercises that promote balance are excellent in that regard.  Using devices such as Pilate balls or similar devices that force you to balance while doing certain exercises help increase core strength, improve your overall balance and increase your ability to deal with imbalance.

Slip and Fall Accidents May Require a Liability Attorney

Brien Roche is an experienced attorney with slip and fall accidents and serves the areas of Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. If you have a slip and fall claim, contact us. Also for more information on premises liability see the pages on Wikipedia.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Slip and Fall Accidents

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation