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Mainstage v10 img 1 when someone takes a tumble after tripping or slipping, the embarrassment they feel — especially if the accident occurred in a public place — may cause them to casually shrug it off and struggle to get back on their feet with a brave “i’m fine” declaration, even when they aren't really ok. Slip and fall injuries can be both physically painful and financially burdensome for the victims and their families.

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When someone takes a tumble after tripping or slipping, the embarrassment they feel — especially if the accident occurred in a public place — may cause them to casually shrug it off and struggle to get back on their feet with a brave “I’m fine” declaration, even when they aren’t really OK. Slip and fall injuries can be both physically painful and financially burdensome for the victims and their families.

Perhaps you slipped because of a wet patch on a floor, a structural or construction hazard caused you to lose your balance, or an uneven surface caused your fall, resulting in injuries. No matter how you tripped or slipped and fell, the law may be on your side. Louisiana’s premises liability statute, CC ART. 2322, outlines when a property owner or occupant is responsible after an injury happens on their property. A skilled Shreveport slip and fall lawyer can help you better understand your rights under these laws.

If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall incident, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can take on the responsible parties — no matter what — and get you the compensation you need to heal.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries

Several things can cause slip-and-fall accidents, including:

  • Uneven ground
  • Neglected spills
  • Poor lighting conditions
  • Bunched carpeting, mats, and rugs
  • Loose debris left in aisles or walkways
  • Insecure, loose, or otherwise absent handrails
  • Overly polished surfaces
  • Unmarked changes in flooring surface changes
  • Loose carpeting and flooring

The details surrounding your slip and fall incident might be different from the examples above. That’s why speaking with a Shreveport slip and fall attorney can be helpful in figuring out whether pursuing a claim is the right move for you.

Most Common Locations of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slips and falls can happen just about anywhere, including indoors and outside. However, some locations are more prone to slip and fall risks. Knowing where the risk of getting hurt in a slip and fall incident is greatest can help you avoid a catastrophic accident and guide you on how to proceed if you need to file a premises liability claim. Common places where slip-and-fall accidents occur include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Hotels
  • Worksites
  • Grocery stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Parking lots
  • Stairs
  • Sidewalks
  • Swimming pools
  • Medical treatment facilities
  • Nursing homes

The location of your slip and fall accident can change everything, from who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries to available damages.

Injuries Sustained in Slip and Fall Accidents

Here are some quick slip and fall injury statistics: 

  • Accidental falls result in approximately 800,000 patient hospitalizations each year in the United States.
  • Each year, an estimated 2.8 million older adults — age 65 and older — are admitted to emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.
  • 18% of the reported nonfatal work-related injuries that resulted in days away from work in 2020 were related to trips, slips, and falls. 
  • There are about 20,000 fatalities each year due to serious injuries caused by accidental falls.

A fall is nothing to take lightly, and there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. Slip and fall injuries can take many forms, from minor to life changing. But even seemingly minor falls can result in severe injuries, including bone fractures to the wrist, arm, ankle, leg, or hip, dislocations, and head injuries. Common injuries in slip-and-fall accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Internal injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Compound fractures and broken bones
  • Knee injuries
  • Muscle strains
  • Sprains

The above injuries provide just a glimpse of what can result from a slip and fall accident. The specific injury you’re diagnosed with can influence your ability to pursue an insurance or civil claim after a slip and fall incident on another’s or public property. However, it’s important to understand that you don’t have to sustain life-threatening or catastrophic injuries to be entitled to compensation. If your Shreveport slip and fall injuries have significantly affected you physically, financially, or psychologically, you may have valid grounds for legal action against the responsible party. 

A slip and fall lawyer in Shreveport can evaluate your case and help you explore whether you have the opportunity to file a slip and fall insurance or civil claim. They will support you throughout the process and advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you need to bounce back fully after a slip-and-fall accident.

Compensation You May Seek in a Slip and Fall Case

Anyone can be seriously hurt in a slip and fall accident, leading to pain and suffering, extensive recovery time, and, in some cases, permanent disability. Slip and fall injuries can also result in substantial medical bills, lost wages, ongoing physical therapy, and various other expenses that can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Coping with serious slip and fall injuries is undoubtedly taxing for both the victim and their family. You rightfully deserve compensation for the financial burden, pain and suffering, and other impacts of your slip and fall injury. 

After getting hurt in a slip and fall accident, you can seek compensation from the negligent merchant or other responsible parties by filing a premises liability claim. You could recover economic and non-economic damages.

For example, in terms of economic losses, you could be able to recover:

  • The cost of medical care for your injuries
  • Wages lost due to missing work to treat or recover from your injuries
  • Lost future wages if you are still healing from or living with your injuries
  • The difference in your earning capacity now that you are hurt
  • The cost of fixing or replacing property damaged in the accident, if applicable

If you have suffered non-economic damages, such as significant physical pain or mental anguish, you can demand compensation for them. These could include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Temporary or permanent disability 
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of joy in former activities or diminished quality of life
  • Psychological trauma

Proving Liability in Your Slip and Fall Case

Slip and fall accident claims are among the most common actions filed in Louisiana civil courts. Proving liability in these cases is a nuanced and complex process. Each slip and fall case is unique, and determining fault hinges on evaluating both the property owner’s efforts to protect visitors against slips and falls and your own exercise of reasonable care when navigating the area leading up to your fall.

Louisiana Revised Statute 9:2800.6 — also known as the Merchant Liability Statute — provides a specific framework within which a premises owner/merchant can be held responsible for injuries sustained due to unreasonable danger on their property. However, the statute applies only to restaurants, shops, and lobby areas of or within an inn, motel, or hotel and does not apply to hospitals.

As the statute states, for you to successfully bring a slip and fall claim for damages in Shreveport or anywhere in Louisiana, you must prove the following:

  1. The condition that led to your injury presented an unreasonable risk of harm to you, and that risk of harm could reasonably have been anticipated; 
  2. The merchant/property owner, occupant, or manager was either the cause or had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that caused your injury before the occurrence; and
  3. The merchant/premises owner/occupant failed to exercise reasonable care.

Owning, managing, and maintaining public premises is a big responsibility. Anyone who neglects their duty of care and falls short of meeting this responsibility puts their visitors at risk and exposes themselves to potential legal action, such as a premise liability case.

Don’t underestimate the complexity of slip and fall injury cases. Consult a Shreveport slip and fall injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will learn more about your case and explain all the legal options available to you.

Comparative Negligence Rule in Louisiana May Affect Your Slip and Fall Case

One of the most common questions slip and fall accident victims have is, “How much is my case worth?” There are several factors in play when determining the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive, including:

  • The extent and severity of your injuries
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Amount of lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Whether your injuries will result in permanent disability
  • Whether you were partly at fault, per CC Art. 2323

Property owners, their attorneys, and insurance companies know that many victims are never sure how much responsibility they bear for their slip and fall. They will argue that you were negligent and partly to blame for the accident. Typical claims that property owners may bring up to shift the blame include:

  • The hazardous condition was “open and obvious,” and you should have avoided it before being hurt.
  • You were not paying attention while walking.
  • You were in a section of the premises where you were not expected or permitted to venture when you got hurt.
  • Poor choice of footwear was the cause of the fall.

While you can still recover damages even if you were partly at fault for your slip and fall, your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Your Shreveport slip and fall lawyer will anticipate potential counterarguments from the other side and strategize how to advocate for the compensation you deserve. For example, in addition to collecting crucial evidence to showcase how the fall occurred, they might ask you the following questions to establish fault:

  • Were you in an area that was off limits or otherwise not meant for you?
  • Were you distracted in any way before the fall?
  • Was there a warning sign where you slipped and fell? If so, was the warning sign clear and visible?
  • Did you have a good reason to be on the premises?
  • Would a reasonably cautious person — free from distraction — have spotted and avoided the hazardous situation in the same circumstances?

What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

A slip and fall can leave you hurt and unsure of what to do or where to turn for help. Taking the right steps following such an accident can significantly bolster your Shreveport personal injury case and increase the likelihood of securing maximum compensation for your injuries.

In the event of a slip and fall incident, you are your best advocate, and your actions can make a world of difference in your situation. Here are steps that can help you build your case and ensure a quick physical and financial recovery:

  1. Take pictures at the scene: It’s crucial to document the accident thoroughly by taking pictures of the area, the hazardous conditions that caused the incident, and the injuries sustained.

In addition, note down the location, date, and time of the accident, what you were doing, and how you fell. Also, keep the footwear and clothes you wore at the time of the fall, as they will serve as important evidence if you decide to pursue compensation for the damages your injury has caused.

  1. Report the incident to a manager: After experiencing a slip and fall on someone’s property, promptly report the incident to the manager or relevant authority.

Property owners and managers often require incident reports when injuries occur on their premises. Ensure that your accident report includes all pertinent details, demonstrating your seriousness about the incident and adherence to proper documentation procedures.

  1. Collect names and contact information from witnesses: In addition, politely ask witnesses if they would be willing to provide an account of what they saw.

Gathering testimonies from witnesses is crucial for supporting your slip and fall claim. If the property owner or their insurance company challenges your claim or attempts to deny responsibility, witness statements can serve as vital evidence to confirm your account of events. 

  1. Don’t talk to anyone: After reporting the incident, refrain from discussing the accident until you consult your premises liability attorney. Steer clear of arguments, and always remember that anything you say might be used against you.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention: Although some injuries may be immediately apparent, others can take time to manifest — some injuries’ symptoms don’t show for days or weeks. After a slip and fall incident, getting prompt medical attention is essential, even if no visible injuries are evident, to prevent potentially serious health complications.
  3. Verify if the issue is promptly addressed if possible: Confirm whether the problem is addressed after reporting your accident. Subsequently, consider contacting a slip-and-fall accident lawyer in Shreveport to protect your interests throughout the process.
  4. Call a personal injury attorney: Lastly, finding a skilled slip and fall lawyer near you to advocate on your behalf will give you the best chance of getting the justice and compensation you deserve. Proving negligence in many slip and fall cases can be quite challenging. Property owners and their insurance companies know how to defend themselves, so it’s especially critical in these cases to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer to assist with your case. 

Slip and Fall Lawsuit Timeline

It’s crucial to be aware of the limited time you have to file your claim. As per Louisiana’s statute of limitations outlined under CC Art. 3492, an injury lawsuit must be initiated within a year from the date of the accident. This time limit applies to claims involving property damage or injuries from trips, slips, and falls on hazardous properties. Failure to file your lawsuit before the deadline will likely lead the court to reject your slip and fall case — even if it is otherwise valid. Even if you believe your case will settle, it’s advisable to leave ample time to initiate a lawsuit.

Discuss Your Case With a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Shreveport Today

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall mishap, you might be confused about where to turn for answers. Slip and fall injuries tend to be unexpected and often result in significant medical expenses, lost work, and ongoing therapies — it’s a lot for anyone to handle alone. That’s where having an advocate on your side becomes crucial.

Don’t let a slip and fall cast a shadow over your life! Put your trust in the experience and knowledge of the Shreveport slip and fall lawyers at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. Our dedicated legal team works tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve. We understand the law, recognizing the unique challenges of a slip and fall case, and we’re committed to giving it our all to achieve your desired outcome.

With decades of combined legal experience and millions recovered for our clients, we’re confident in our ability to help you hold those responsible for your slip and fall injuries accountable. If needed, we are tenacious litigators and will represent you in court. Call us anytime at (318) 379-4496 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Sources:

  1. CC 2322. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed December 2023.
  2. Facts About Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 2023.
  3. Fast Facts – Traumatic Occupational Injuries. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed December 2023.
  4. RS 9:2800.6. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed December 2023.
  5. CC 2323. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed December 2023.
  6. CC 3492. Louisiana State Legislature. Accessed December 2023.

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