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Whether at a shopping mall, hotel, hospital, restaurant, grocery store or elsewhere in Des Moines, Iowa, slip and fall / trip and fall injuries will happen.
Injuries from slip and fall cases range from soft-tissue up to, and including, death. These risks are heightened for the elderly. In fact, according to a study done by the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for people age sixty-five and up. The same study notes that nearly 30,000 people died from falls in a recent year and most of them were over 65 years of age. The NSC also reports that a frequent cause of brain injuries is falling.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes:
• Approximately thirty percent of people age 65 and older fall on an annual basis
• Just over two-million people are treated at hospitals for slip and fall related injuries each year
• Of those two-million, approximately thirty percent require admission to the hospital
• In addition to brain injuries, perhaps the most common fall related injury is a broken hip with hospitals seeing in excess of two-hundred thousand per year.
Regardless of how “slip and fall” cases are portrayed in society, the statistics above prove they are serious matters that can, and do, result in serious injury. Sadly, the media and other social commentators frequently choose to poke fun at the victims and circumstances surrounding slip and fall cases. Clearly, society would be much better served if safety were the focal point of these pundits rather than humor. That all said, slip and fall as well as trip and fall cases will always be with us.
The causes of slip and fall and trip and fall injuries are many but, frequently, if boiled down to a common denominator, the cause is often the negligence of a landowner. The following bullet-points lay out some of the more common sources of slip and fall / trip and fall cases we have handled. This list is, of course, not all inclusive and you should contact one of our experienced slip and fall lawyer Des Moines IA trusts if you have been injured from a slip and fall or trip and fall incident.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall and Trip and Fall Cases
• Broken sidewalks and pavement
• Poor maintenance of snow and ice
• Foreign substances that are left on the ground
• Unmarked cables and wiring running across a floor
• Hidden defects in flooring material such as ripped carpet
Defenses to Slip and Fall Cases
It is important to note that just because you tripped and fell and were injured does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to money. In order to recover damages (money), there must be a party who was negligent which, in turn, caused your fall.
By way of example, if you tripped over your own two feet, there was no other negligent party and there is no recovery to be made. However, it is always best to contact one of our Des Moines personal injury attorneys and explain your situation to him or her because an experienced slip and fall lawyer Des Moines IA can rely on will often be able to identify negligence when, to the untrained eye, there appears to be none.
Even when there clearly is a negligent party, that does not mean that individual (or their insurance company) will simply pay you for your losses. You still have to prove all the elements of negligence as well as the extent of your loss.
Additionally, the element of “duty” (a required element of negligence) varies depending on your relationship with the landowner. For example, a landowner often has differing degrees of duty depending on whether the injured person is a trespasser, an invitee, or a licensee.
Furthermore, landowners are not the absolute insurers of the public’s safety and there is a presumption that people will look where they are stepping.
Another consideration when dealing with slip and fall / trip and fall cases in Des Moines, Iowa is where the incident occurred relative to the facility. For example, a plaintiff who slips on ice is more likely to make a financial recovery if the ice is nearer the doors as opposed to out in the middle of the parking lot.
Still another issue that has to be dealt with in slip and fall cases is timing. In analyzing a slip and fall, one of the many questions that must be addressed is whether or not the landowner, operator, manager, or other similarly situated person knew, or had reason to know, of the hazard that caused the slip. As can be imagined, there can be a vast difference in terms of recovery between someone slipping on something that had been on the floor for ten seconds versus someone slipping on something that had been present for an hour or more.
More Than One Cause of Slip and Fall Cases
When dealing with slip and fall cases in Des Moines, Iowa, it is important to remember that there may be more than one type of claim that can be made on your behalf. For example, attorney Chris Johnston recently resolved a trip and fall case in which his client stumbled in a pothole in the parking lot of a major retailer.
In addition to making a claim for negligence for the broken pavement, Mr. Johnston also included a claim for negligence for insufficient parking lot lighting. Had it not been for this second claim, it appeared unlikely that the retailer would have paid for his client’s losses.
Slip and Fall Lawyer Des Moines IA: Contact Us!
A list of the different types of falls and defenses could easily go on for pages. Even with the brief examples herein, it should be clear that slip and fall cases can be quite complicated.
Fortunately, our personal injury attorneys have successfully handled many slip and fall / trip and fall cases and will happily provide you with a free consultation at which time they will work through the facts of your particular case and advise you on your options. Call today at 515-493-4878 or EMAIL.
“Brad is one of the most open and compassionate attorneys I have ever met. He is not only thorough and detail-oriented, but is a good listener and approaches everything with integrity.”