Slip and Fall Accidents

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Slip And Fall Accidents

Brien Roche

Slip and fall accidents 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. It is necessary, however, that such claims 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

Frequently 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 where the fall occurred, then 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 layer of gravel and necessary amount of cement was 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 an appropriate witness.  Typically these types of reports can be obtained from the various government climate centers.
  • Medical witnesses.  Paramedics and other EMTs who responded to the scene should not be overlooked as potential witnesses.  They may have critical information as to the source of the substance that caused the slip and fall or other pertinent information.

Alternative Slip and Fall Theories

Slip and fall alternative theories may be helpful in the prosecution of your case. In  your typical slip and fall case it is necessary to show that the owner of the premises had actual or constructive notice of the defective condition that caused the fall.  Sometimes that is not possible.  Alternative liability theories may rest upon 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 should expect that those open containers are sometimes going to be spilled resulting in injuries.

In attempting to develop these alternative theories of liability it will probably be necessary to show that the  method of operation is either inherently dangerous or that it is being conducted in a negligent fashion and that that conduct contributed to the injury in question.  If the defective condition is created by some problem that is off-site and which is not necessarily under the control of the property owner, then the property owner may still be liable by failing to take 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 either clean up the condition or to adequately warn patrons about 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), neuromas (pinched nerves where the heels squeeze the toes) and problems with the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon is frequently affected because when the high heels are taken off, that involves stretching of that tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. 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, it is important to analyze the types of shoes that the plaintiff is wearing. High heels for obvious reasons tend to be somewhat 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 factors are things to be considered in terms of 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.

The traditional rule in terms of how to fall is to “tuck and roll”.  Tucking and rolling is certainly easier said than done.  In particular tucking and rolling may be very difficult if you don’t have a certain degree of athleticism.  If you do then tucking, that is tucking your body in and rolling with the fall is probably 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 stiff in order to somehow break the fall.  That typically 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 while at the same time allowing the impact with the ground to be absorbed over as much of your body as possible but with most of the impact focused on the meaty parts of the body i.e., the buttocks, upper legs or back.  In terms of protecting your head, if you’re falling forward then you should try to turn your face to the side.  If you’re falling backward then bring your head forward to tuck your chin into your chest.

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

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.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