Landing on a hard, unforgiving surface after an unsuspecting slip can feel disorienting and even cause injury. In fact, these types of slips and falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States representing 30% of all injuries tracked. More alarmingly, statistics indicate that, in 2016, 9.2 million people required emergency room visits due to fall-related injuries. In addition, falls are the number one cause of death for adults 65 and older. Often, the injured individual winds up paying the bill for the lapse in attention that caused the injuries, but many times, somebody else should pay. Contact a slip and fall lawyer to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about what rights you have in a liability case.
Where the accident occurred and whether someone’s negligence led to the unsafe conditions that caused the fall are the determining factors for slip and fall liability. Contact a leading slip and fall lawyer in Oregon today at (503) 726-5960.
Facts: Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, the average cost of a hospital visit for a slip and fall injury is around $30,000. In addition, approximately 5% of slip and falls involve broken bones, which can speak to their seriousness, especially in people 65 and older. In 2016, according to the CDC, 32.5% of older adults in Oregon state.
After suffering injuries due to a slip and fall accident, you should immediately get checked out at an emergency room or your doctor’s office. If your injuries are severe, this would naturally be your first thought, but if you feel okay, you might neglect this critical step. Instead, you should always err on the side of caution and get your injuries checked in an emergency room, urgent care, or with your family practitioner as soon as possible. If you bumped your head or twisted as you fell, or you could be dealing with anything from a mild concussion to a spinal injury. In these situations, you could go to bed feeling fine but wake up unable to move. Falls are also a leading cause of brain injury.
Common injuries after a slip and fall include:
- Broken bones
- Sprained ankles or wrists
- Knee damage
- Shoulder dislocations or muscle strains
- Spine and nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cuts and bruises
Slip and Fall Lawyer in Oregon
“Slip and fall” cases often result in serious injuries which can lead to high medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. Over the years Ryan Hilts Law has successfully handled many cases in which someone was injured as a result of a dangerous condition on another’s premises.
In Oregon, the owner or occupier of the property (building or land) has a duty to inspect the property to make sure it is in good condition for its intended use. The duty of reasonable care differs depending on the injured person’s status at the time of the injury:
Business Invitee – If the injured person was a business invitee, meaning they entered the land for the financial benefit of the defendant, the defendant owes an affirmative duty to make sure the property is safe and to maintain the premises. A business invitee is owed the highest duty of care under the premises liability laws. This category includes grocery stores, retail stores, shopping malls, or any other business. Also included in this category are events for which someone has to pay an admission fee, such as a fairground, rodeo or concert. In general, there is a heightened duty to keep the premises free of dangerous substances or objects that could pose a danger to a customer. If there is a failure to keep the premises safe and someone is injured, the property/business owner is responsible for paying for all of the damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Usually, these injuries and all the associated losses are covered by insurance.
Licensee – If the injured person was a licensee, meaning they had permission to enter the land but not for the financial benefit of the defendant, the property owner has a duty to fix concealed dangers or warn the licensee of such dangers. This category includes being a guest at a party, a BBQ, or a wedding on private property, to name a few. If it can be shown that the owner did not fix or warn and that someone was injured as a result, then the property owner or occupier would be liable for any injuries and expenses that occurred. Typically the owner or occupier has homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance to cover all of the damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Trespasser – A trespasser is owed no duty by an owner or occupier of land other than that they can’t be willfully harmed.
It is important to report the injury as soon as it happens. If the injury happens on the property of a business, typically an employee of the business will create an incident report. Beyond that, however, it is not uncommon for the business to go silent, failing to follow up with the injured person to check on their condition and to let them know about the insurance claim information. It often takes a letter from an attorney to the business and/or property owner to prompt a response. The owner then turns the claim information over to the insurance company and the adjuster handles the claim from that point forward.
In premises liability (“slip and fall”) cases, whether it happens at a restaurant, bar, grocery or other retail stores, a private residence, or on public property, it is essential to be able to prove that there was a dangerous condition and that the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
We are very experienced in “slip and fall” cases. Please call if you would like a free consultation. You can also email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org