Each year, countless individuals suffer life-altering injuries on someone else’s property. While some of these Baton Rouge injury incidents are attributable to horseplay, distractions, and other examples of a person’s own negligence, an overwhelming amount of these scenarios can be blamed on a property owner’s failure to maintain safe premises.
Louisiana law allows victims who suffer slips and falls due to a property owner oversight to hold them liable for any damages, like medical costs or lost wages, they accumulate. Read on to learn more about slip and fall accidents and victims’ rights, then reach out to a Baton Rouge slip and fall lawyer at our law firm, Bianca | Matkins, to discuss whether you may have a valid claim.
How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
National Safety Council (NSC) statistics show that slips and falls are the second-most leading cause of unintentional injury-related fatalities. The organization’s data shows that at least 42,114 U.S. residents lost their lives in a fall incident in 2020.
That same NSC data contends that workers are particularly vulnerable to having slip and fall accidents. Their data shows that at least 211,640 workers missed several days of work due to their serious injuries, and 805 employees died from falls in our country in 2020. Of those deaths, an estimated 136 falls occurred at the same level.
Additional data compiled by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) details how falls are responsible for the most hospital visits in the U.S. at 21.3%. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that at least three million of those individuals who are seen in hospital emergency rooms following a fall injury are older persons.
Where Do Baton Rouge Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
A slip, trip, or fall accident can occur in a home, Louisiana workplace, or virtually any other public space you can think of, such as:
- Grocery stores
- Sports arenas or stadiums
- Office building lobbies
- Nursing homes
- Public sidewalks
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Parking lots
- Apartment complexes
- Schools and universities
- Swimming pools
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere, from private Baton Rouge residences or businesses in Goodwood, Inniswold, Garden District, Spanish Town, Shenandoah, or Glen Oaks to public buildings or grounds owned by county, city, or state government agencies in the downtown, Lakeshore, or Mid-City districts.
Factors That Cause Baton Rouge Slip and Fall Accidents
Numerous contributing factors result in someone tripping or slipping resulting in a fall in Baton Rouge. Some of the more common factors that result in these often-serious injury incidents include:
- Wet, slippery, or debris-strewn floors
- Non-existent or poorly maintained handrails
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Loose stair treads
- Improperly maintained equipment (that causes someone’s shoe or clothing to get stuck)
- Loose, rolled up, or torn floor mats, rugs, and carpets
- Electric wires being unexpectedly run across a highly trafficked path
- Untreated ice or snow accumulation
- Potholes, curbs, speed bumps, or wheel stops
- Poor lighting
While some property owners take time to cordon off potential problem areas that could result in someone suffering a fall injury to clean them up, others don’t act as expeditiously, which leaves visitors vulnerable to getting hurt.
Injuries Common Among Slip and Fall Injury Victims
Minor injuries fall victims may suffer include cuts, bruises, and sprains or strains. Severe injuries are often unfortunately common in slip and fall accidents, however, due to the force at which the body usually hits the ground upon falling.
The more serious injuries sustained by victims who suffer an unexpected fall include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
Many of these Louisiana slip and fall incidents result in a victim suffering a permanent disability. If a victim suffered permanent brain damage, for example, it could not only leave the injured person with lasting cognitive impairments but also adversely impact their ability to provide for themselves financially.
While there are many slip and fall accident victims who survive the incident unscathed or suffer some of the common injuries above, others are far less fortunate and lose their lives. Surviving family members may need to file a wrongful death claim in such scenarios to recover funeral and burial costs, lost future earnings, and other losses associated with a loved one’s untimely demise.
Whether you’ve suffered injuries yourself in a slip and fall accident or you’ve lost a loved one in a preventable incident such as this, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Securing maximum compensation when fall cases arise is necessary if you’ve amassed hefty costs because you had to seek medical attention. Otherwise, you may find yourself saddled with financial hardship due to the careless accident if you don’t establish liability or prove negligence by showing how the property owner failed to address hazards that caused your personal injury.
Our slip and fall attorneys at the Baton Rouge law firm Bianca | Matkins can meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your potential personal injury case and your right to hold the property owner accountable for the harm you suffered. This insight that one of our injury lawyers can provide you with can prove invaluable as you try to decide what your next course of action should be and how the legal process might unfold in slip and fall claims cases.
Holding a Responsible Party Accountable for Your Slip and Fall Accident
Louisiana premises liability laws require plaintiffs to establish the following elements to qualify to move forward in filing a slip and fall claim with a homeowner’s, business’s, or any other Baton Rouge property owner’s insurance company, which is necessary to recover compensation:
- The property owner was aware of or should have known about the dangerous condition
- The owner failed to take the necessary steps to address the hazardous property condition
- The victim wasn’t aware of the dangerous condition and exhibited reasonable care when navigating the property when the slip and fall incident happened
- The slip and fall victim sustained injuries in the injury incident, and that harm they suffered is attributable to the property owner’s negligence
Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations Applicable to Slip and Fall Cases
Louisiana Civil Code (CC) 3492 outlines how slip and fall victims and others who’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence have one year from the date they suffered injuries to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
There are generally exceptions to personal injury statutes of limitations like these, such as if there was a delayed diagnosis or the victim was a child when the incident occurred.
Damages You Can Recover in a Louisiana Slip and Fall Case
The financial compensation slip and fall accident victims are eligible to recover if they get hurt is intended to help them pay for the expenses they incurred in treating their personal injuries and other losses they suffered as a result of it. Damages recoverable by filing fall injury claims include:
- Past medical bills, including costs associated with doctors’ visits and physical therapy
- Lost wages and future lost income
- Future medical treatment costs
The damages above are examples of economic losses. Noneconomic damages are the often-unseen consequences associated with a Baton Rouge slip and fall accident, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Losses of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Louisiana personal injury law also allows plaintiffs to petition the Court for punitive damages in situations where a defendant is shown to have engaged in gross negligence, resulting in someone else’s harm.
Fall injuries that occur on someone else’s property generally don’t motivate a Baton Rouge judge to require a property owner defendant to pay punitive damages. However, if you and one of our personal injury attorneys at Bianca | Matkins can show evidence that a property owner failed to address a particularly hazardous situation, recovering these types of damages intended to punish past negligence and deter future instances may be an option.
How a Baton Rouge Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights
If you’ve suffered slip and fall injuries, you probably want nothing more than to recover and get on with your life as it was pre-accident once again. It can eat away at you knowing that you’re drowning in debt because of it, and the Baton Rouge personal property owner who caused you harm isn’t being held accountable for their role in harming you. A Bianca | Matkins fall attorney can help ensure a negligent property owner’s negligence doesn’t go unpunished.
Our Baton Rouge fall lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of personal injury matters. Each fall attorney is well versed in Louisiana premises liability law necessary to prove property owner negligence. Every fall attorney at our personal injury law firm also has extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies—even when they try to deny liability.
Let our legal counsel sit down with you to discuss your injury incident during a free consultation. No fall accident attorney at our law firm gets paid for their representation of you unless they collect a settlement on your behalf, so you have nothing to lose by discussing your case with us. Contact a Baton Rouge slip and fall lawyer at Bianca | Matkins today.