Injured in a Trip and Fall Accident?
In our fast-paced society, people move around with purpose to get where they are going. They should not expect to have their lives suddenly interrupted when they trip over something and fall down, seriously injuring themselves. The unfortunate reality is that this happens on a daily basis, and a Chicago trip and fall lawyer can often help.
While you may not think a trip and fall accident sounds too serious, the truth is that slips, trips, and falls are one of the top causes of accidental death in the U.S. This indicates that—far from being minor—the injuries that can result from a fall can be severe with lasting effects. If you have tripped and fallen, you may be facing extensive medical bills and a long recovery period, during which you are unable to work and experiencing severe pain.
In many situations, a trip and fall victim has the right to seek compensation from the party or parties who caused the accident. These cases can be complex, however, and can involve legal principles under premises liability law. Anyone who has been injured in this manner should not hesitate to contact the experienced Chicago trip and fall attorneys at the law firm of Abels & Annes to discuss their legal options.
Common Trip and Fall Injuries
Sometimes, a trip and fall accident will simply result in a bruised ego. If you do not sustain any physical injuries, there likely is no recourse for the embarrassment experienced upon falling down. However, falls often result in physical injuries that require immediate medical attention and, in some cases, ongoing treatment and care. Some of the common injuries that may result from a trip and fall include the following:
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken hips and other bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Sprains and strains
- Soft tissue tears
- Neck and back injuries
Trip and fall victims experiencing pain should always seek a thorough medical evaluation to identify any and all injuries. In some instances, a concussion, disc injury, or fracture may not be immediately apparent and can only be identified through diagnostic tests. It is important for you to obtain a timely diagnosis for the following reasons:
- To make sure you receive all stabilizing and rehabilitative treatment you need as soon as possible
- Become aware of any limitations you must respect due to your injury, such as not working or engaging in certain activities after a concussion
- To have a medical record connecting your trip and fall accident with your injury diagnosis
Not only does timely medical attention help you to have a speedier recovery, but it also can assist in any resulting insurance or legal claims you may file.
Holding Property Owners Liable for Your Losses
Trip and falls can happen for many reasons. Often, they occur because the owners of a property or business—or their employees—allowed a hazardous condition to remain on the premises. Some examples of hazardous conditions that can cause you to trip and fall include the following:
- Defective or improperly installed floor mats or carpeting
- Electrical cords that have not been secured to the walls
- Stairs that are uneven or too shallow, in violation of building codes
- Door jambs or small steps that are not properly marked
These are only some of the potential reasons for which property or business owners can be deemed negligent and held liable for your losses. Determining and proving such liability is imperative because trip and fall victims can incur significant losses from serious injuries that disrupt their lives. The first step of your legal case will be for a trip and fall attorney in Chicago to review the facts of the accident and advise you whether any negligent parties may be held liable for your losses.
One common mistake fall victims may make is underestimating the value of their many losses. Losses can include much more than just medical bills you have already received. If you file an insurance claim on your own, it is likely that you will seek less than you truly deserve. Once you receive a payout, you lose the right to return to request more compensation. This is true even if you subsequently realize that you underestimated your losses.
At Abels & Annes, an important part of a Chicago trip and fall attorney’s job is to closely examine any possible damages in your case and calculate the full amount of compensation you should seek. Such damages can include:
Medical treatment for even seemingly minor injuries can be costly. More serious injuries may require more extensive medical care. This could include hospitalization, surgeries, medical equipment, home health assistance, medications, lasting rehabilitative therapy, and more. Some older adults who sustain hip fractures may lose their ability to live independently. Often, medical expenses can be ongoing. We can estimate the future costs you may incur and seek compensation for those, too.
Traumatic injuries from a trip and fall can prevent you from working, especially if your job involves physical tasks. For every hour of work you miss, you may lose income. This loss of income can cause a stressful financial situation for your household. Some people requiring surgeries or intense treatment may miss work for weeks or even months. If your injury has lasting effects, you may have to change jobs or work part-time in the future. We can calculate your future income loss, as well.
You can also recover for non-concrete losses. This may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of your life
What Should I Do After a Trip and Fall Accident in Chicago?
- Take photos or video of the condition that caused the accident
- Gather contact information for any independent witnesses at the scene
- If at a business or commercial property, report the accident and injury to management
- Seek any necessary medical treatment for your injuries
- Contact a Chicago trip and fall lawyer ASAP, as there may be immediate steps your attorney may take in certain situations (like retaining an architect for an inspection)
Contact Abels & Annes for a Free Consultation
At Abels & Annes, we take every trip and fall case extremely seriously and strive to obtain the compensation that you deserve for all of your losses. If you sustain injury in this type of accident, please contact a Chicago trip and fall lawyer at our office for more information at 312-924-7575 today.