Tappahannock Trip & Fall Injury Lawyer
Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Serving Clients in Tappahannock, Virginia
Nobody expects to get hurt in a dangerous slip and fall accident. However, slips and falls can happen almost anywhere, and they can seriously injure the young and the old and the healthy and the frail. As a report from the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) explains, many of us associate particularly dangerous slips, trips, and falls with the elderly. Yet it would be a mistake to believe that only older adults are hurt by slip and fall accidents. No matter how physically fit you may be, if you happen upon a slick floor or a wet spot at a restaurant, you can easily slip and sustain a severe injury.
If you have recently been hurt in a slip and fall accident, reach out to an experienced Tappahannock slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.
How Common Are Slips and Falls in Virginia?
Fall-related accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. According to an NFSI fact sheet, the following statistics highlight the prevalence of slips and falls and the serious harm they can cause:
- Every year, around 8 million people seek treatment in emergency departments for fall-related injuries, and about 1 million of those visits stem from slips and falls.
- The most common type of injury in a slip and fall accident is a fracture.
- In addition to fractures, slip and fall accidents commonly result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
- Falls account for approximately 5 percent of job-related fatalities among female employees and 11 percent of job-related fatalities among male employees.
- Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of lost work days due to injury.
- Slip and fall accidents are also the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and of occupational injuries in employees age 55 and older.
- Each year, floors and flooring materials lead to about 2 million falls, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- About 50 percent of all accidental deaths in the home result from fall-related injuries.
- Falls are the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths for people between the ages of 65-84, and they are the leading cause of death for people age 85 and older.
- Falls are the cause of nearly 90 percent of all fractures in people over the age of 65.
As you can see, slip and fall accidents can be extremely serious, and occasionally, can result in fatal injuries.
Common Injuries in Tappahannock Slips and Falls
The NFSI cites some of the most common injuries caused by slips and falls. At Emroch & Kilduff, we regularly assist clients who have sustained serious and life-threatening injuries in slip and fall accidents, including but not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Some slip and fall injuries can require multiple surgeries, while others can require months of rehabilitative therapy. If another party’s negligence caused your slip and fall accident, you should not have to bear the financial costs associated with your injury.
Understanding Virginia Premises Liability Law
Slip and fall accident claims comprise one category of lawsuits that can arise under a broader category known as “premises liability.” Premises liability law in Virginia says that property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for customers and for anyone who has been invited onto the property lawfully. Premises liability law applies to both public and private property owners and to businesses and individuals alike.
This does not mean that you automatically can file a premises liability lawsuit if you are injured on someone else’s property. Depending on the circumstances of the visit—such as whether the visitor was a business customer, a social guest, or a trespasser—a property owners may have a duty to ensure that issues creating an unreasonable risk of harm—such as a hole in the flooring or a broken handrail on the stairs—are repaired and that customers or guests are warned about those risks in advance. If a property owner fails to take any steps to repair hazardous conditions or to warn people about those conditions, she or he may be liable for injuries. However, a property owner is not required to take every precaution possible to ensure that someone is not hurt on the property. To be sure, a plaintiff in a slip and fall accident may be partially or fully responsible for the accident.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident in Tappahannock
What does a plaintiff need to show to succeed in a product liability lawsuit? Generally speaking, a plaintiff in a slip and fall claim must be able to prove:
- That the property owner owed a duty of care to the plaintiff—such as the duty to warn of an unsafe condition;
- That the property owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition on the property;
- That the plaintiff was hurt in a slip and fall accident on the property; and
- That the plaintiff’s injuries resulted from the unsafe condition on the defendant’s property.
Understanding Contributory Negligence in Virginia
Even if you are able to prove that the defendant knew about an unsafe condition on the property and did not take steps to remedy it, you may still lose your case if the defendant can prove contributory negligence. Virginia is one of only a handful of states that still follows a pure contributory negligence theory. What does this mean?
In short, it means that if the plaintiff is responsible in any way for the accident or for the severity of her injuries—even if the jury determines the plaintiff is only 1 percent liable compared to the defendant’s 99 percent liability—then the plaintiff can recover nothing.
Seek Advice from an Experienced Tappahannock Premises Liability Lawyer
Were you injured in a slip and fall accident? A Tappahannock premises liability attorney can discuss your options for seeking compensation. Contact Emroch & Kilduff today to learn more about the services we provide to Virginia residents.