Jane always walked confidently, thinking she’d never slip and fall. But one day, she slipped on a wet floor. This fall hurt her and made her realize accidents can happen anytime. Slipping and falling is a common occurrence, but it can also be a serious matter. In Salt Lake City, slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of personal injury lawsuits.

Slipping and Falling: More Common Than You Think

In legal terms, a “slip and fall” incident refers to a situation in which an individual slips, trips, or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property. It’s a type of personal injury claim or case based on a property owner’s negligence where the property owner didn’t act responsibly in maintaining their property, leading to someone else’s injury.

These cases typically fall under the broader category of cases known as “premises liability” claims. The legal duty a property owner owes to someone who enters their property varies based on the relationship (invitee, licensee, or trespasser) and the specific jurisdiction or legal rules of a particular state or country.

While slips and falls might sound trivial, they can lead to serious injuries. Salt Lake City, with its unique geographical conditions, often experiences icy and slippery conditions, increasing the risks of such incidents. In fact, in urban areas, slippery sidewalks, stores, and public places can be hazard zones.

Understanding the typical injuries associated with these incidents can illuminate the severity of the situation. Here are some of the most common:

Fractures and Broken Bones: These are among the most common results of a serious slip and fall. The wrists, arms, hips, and ankles are particularly vulnerable. The natural instinct when falling is to put out a hand to break the fall, which can lead to wrist or arm fractures. Elderly individuals are especially prone to hip fractures.

Sprains and Strains: These injuries involve the stretching or tearing of ligaments (sprains) or muscles and tendons (strains). An awkward landing or twist during a fall can result in such injuries, especially in the ankles, knees, or wrists.

Head Injuries: This includes concussions or even more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). If someone hits their head during a fall, it can result in a concussion. Repeated or severe impacts may lead to long-term cognitive issues.

Cuts and Abrasions: These are surface injuries that can range from minor scrapes to deeper gashes. Falling onto rough or jagged surfaces can result in cuts. If the skin is dragged across a surface, abrasions might occur.

Spinal Cord and Back Injuries: This includes herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or even spinal cord damage. A hard fall or landing on the back can put immense pressure on the spine, potentially damaging the vertebrae or the spinal cord itself.

Shoulder Injuries: This could be a shoulder dislocation, or what’s termed as a “brachial plexus injury”. If a person falls and lands on the side or tries to catch themselves, the shoulder can take on a lot of force, leading to such injuries.

Knee Damage: This includes meniscus tears or fractures to parts of the knee joint.  A direct impact or twisting motion during a fall can injure the complex structures within the knee.

Soft Tissue Injuries: These aren’t always immediately apparent but can cause long-term pain and discomfort. Soft tissue injuries refer to damages to tendons, ligaments, and muscles that might not cause visible symptoms right away but can lead to swelling, pain, or decreased mobility over time.

Bruising (Contusions): Discoloration and pain due to blood pooling under the skin from broken blood vessels. When the body makes a forceful contact with a hard surface, the tiny blood vessels under the skin can break, leading to bruising.

It’s essential to consult with a medical professional following any slip and fall incident, even if the injuries seem minor at first. Some symptoms might not manifest immediately but can become serious if left untreated.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to take steps to protect your rights. Here are some tips:

Seek medical attention immediately: Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, it is important to see a doctor right away after a slip and fall accident. This will ensure that you receive the treatment you need.

Report the accident to the property owner or manager: You should report the accident to the property owner or manager as soon as possible. This will help to establish that the accident was not your fault.

Take pictures of the accident scene: If possible, take pictures of the accident scene before it is cleaned up. This will help to document the conditions that caused your fall.

Get the names and contact information of any witnesses: If there were any witnesses to your fall, be sure to get their names and contact information. This will help you to corroborate your version of events if you need to file a lawsuit.

Contact a personal injury lawyer: If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights and to file a lawsuit if necessary.

The Role of Legal Professionals at Craig Swapp & Associates

Slipping and falling isn’t just a momentary blip in someone’s day; it can have lasting repercussions, both physically and legally. If you or someone you know has had the misfortune of experiencing such an accident in Salt Lake City, it’s essential to know your rights and the potential for legal redress.

However, this is not a journey you need to undertake alone. At Craig Swapp & Associates, our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys is ready to assist, ensuring that the aftermath of a slip and fall doesn’t cause undue stress and strain. Legal complexities should not be another injury you have to deal with. Let us help you navigate these challenges. Remember, understanding is the first step, and taking action is the next. Seek the counsel of a reputed injury lawyer today.

Seeking rightful compensation after a slip and fall in Salt Lake City? Reach out to Craig Swapp & Associates today.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp