Posted On March 15, 2017 Personal Injury
Falling on ice or cold concrete is traumatic for your body. Slip and fall injuries can be very serious because slick surfaces are unforgiving. Some of the most frequent injuries are cracked skulls or fractured bones from attempting to break your fall. If you experience pain after falling in the ice or snow, seek medical experience immediately. Other common injuries include:
How serious an injury is, or the length of your recovery depends on the impact of your fall, as well as how quickly you begin treatment.
Every winter, thousands of Americans sustain serious injuries, or die, slipping on ice and snow. Falling on frozen pavement can result in broken bones, concussions or worse. Recovering from these injuries might include hospital visits and therapy. This leaves the victim unable to work, take care of their family, or pay their bills.
The unfortunate thing about these injuries is that most of them are preventable. Businesses and homeowners have the obligation to keep their property reasonably safe. If they don’t, they are responsible to pay for the injuries their negligence caused.
If you suffered a serious injury falling due to ice or snow, you could receive compensation for your injuries. At Console and Associates, we will act as your PA personal injury attorney and fight to help victims get the justice they deserve.
The outcome of a personal injury claim depends on the facts and how they’re presented. Even two similar-seeming claims can reach different settlements. While we do our best to answer some of the most common questions here, the fastest way to know if you have a case is to call. We have experienced attorneys who will review your claim for free. They’ll answer your questions and let you know what your legal options are.
When you are filing for damages due to a slip and fall, you need to figure out who is responsible. It may be straightforward if you are on a residential property, but if you are on a commercial or government property, it might be more complicated. One of the first things our attorneys do is to establish whose negligence caused your injury. Here is more information on who is liable in a winter slip and fall settlement.
There are three main things that help determine if you have a claim for your winter slip & fall injury.
Remember, homeowners and businesses have insurance to help cover the costs of injuries like yours. If they are at fault, it is their responsibility to pay.
A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere. Snow and ice can pool on the street, melt inside stores, and even cause injury for your neighbors or friends visiting your house. Unfortunately, many of these slip and fall accidents could have been prevented. When property owners and businesses are negligent, you suffer. Learn how you can receive compensation to cover your expenses and help you recover after you slip or fall due to snow and ice.
The vast majority of slip and fall cases settle out of court, with both parties working together to mediate an agreement and prevent the case from going to trial. Going to court makes a claim more expensive for insurance attorneys, increasing the risk of how much they may have to pay out and reducing their potential savings. For your attorney, we know that the sooner we can reach a settlement, the faster you recover your damages. As long as your best interests are put first, your attorney is typically willing to settle
While it is likely that your case will end in mediation, it is not guaranteed. Each case is unique and one or both parties may decide to push forward and bring the case to court if they aren’t happy with the proposed settlement plans.
The window to file your lawsuit is called the statute of limitations, and it changes based on the state you live and the type of lawsuit you bring. In personal injury cases in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you have two years to file your slip and fall claim.
The clock starts ticking on your slip and fall claim the day your injury occurs, which means you have two years from the day of the accident to file a claim. However, some states offer provisions to extend this statute in cases where the defendant leaves the state or in cases where the plaintiff is a minor, mentally disabled, or mentally ill.
The sooner you file your claim the sooner you can move forward with your case and put this trauma behind you. More importantly, once the statute of limitations expires, you cannot file a claim. It is never too early to speak to a lawyer, but it can become too late.
Seek treatment immediately after you slip or fall on snow or ice. Your health is the number one priority and you should visit a doctor within 72 hours of your accident. Even if you do not think you are injured or need to have the injury treated, a doctor can make sure that there is no internal bleeding, broken bones, or potential long-term complications from the fall. This is especially true for head injuries. It is better to confirm that you are okay than to let the injury worsen.
Along with medical care, there is another reason to see a doctor within 72 hours of your fall: it will be harder to win your case if you wait to seek treatment. You will have a harder time proving that the defendant is to blame for your fall and that your injuries are as serious as you claim.
You want to do everything in your power to create an open-and-shut slip and fall case. Visiting a doctor immediately after the fall can potentially increase your chances of success.
Each slip and fall case is different and there is no set guarantee for what you can get for your case. Even if your lawyer proposes an amount for the settlement, you may receive a lower payout after mediation or in court if your case goes to trial. Pain and suffering is the damages caused by your injury that aren’t easy to assign a dollar value to. It’s easy to find the cost of your medical stay. It’s much harder to put a cost to the pain you might experience for the rest of your life.
To get an idea for what your case is worth, focus on the impact that the slip and fall claim had on your life. Your medical bills, degree of pain, and life changes as a result of the accident will dictate the value and severity of your claim. For example, a claim that results in long-term brain injury (including emergency medical care and years of physical therapy) will typically have a higher settlement than a claim over a broken ankle. However, there are cases where the ankle injury could be more valuable. Each situation is unique.
Most cases include medical bills as part of the slip and fall personal injury claim. While you have to pay your medical bills when your healthcare provider sends them, you should document every expense and payment to include in your case. For example, if you need to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor or receive long-term physical therapy, we will work to add those expenses to your settlement claim.
There are other incidental expenses that you will want to include in your slip and fall claim. These include costs like lost wages due to recovery time or costs for pain and suffering. For example, if you had to cancel a ski trip because of a broken foot, you may be able to add any lost deposits to your claim.
If you are injured in a slip and fall case caused by snow or ice, don’t wait to seek medical attention and explore your options. Contact us today and request a free consultation to review your case.
This is one of the most common questions we receive. Determining the value of a claim depends on several factors. Broadly, they split into two categories: compensatory and punitive.
This is the money the responsible party owes you for the injury they cause. This includes more than your medical bills. For example, here are a few things that fall under compensatory damages:
Punitive damages are not related to your injuries. Instead, they’re intended to punish a company for being irresponsible. The idea behind punitive damages is to prevent similar negligence in the future. These damages are not always available in every case.
At Console and Associates, we’ve helped our clients recover the damages they’re owed. Every claim is different, but we always fight to get you what you deserve and not a penny less.
When you file a claim against an insurance company, they’ll usually make a small first offer. Why? Because they know that most individuals and many less-experienced lawyers will accept it. Their job is to make money, and avoiding paying what your injury is worth is one way they do it.
We don’t accept those offers because you deserve better. Below are some Ice & Snow injury claim settlements we won. Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances:
Our 65 year old client shattered his upper arm on a patch of black ice in a condominium parking lot in Philadelphia. His recovery required multiple surgeries and took more than a year. Despite this, his doctors didn’t know if he’d ever make a full recovery. We made the condominium pay $160,000 for their negligence. Nothing can undo the pain of an accident, but we helped make the costs easier to manage.
Our client fell on her way to work, hurting her leg and her side. At first, she tried to work through the pain, but found herself unable to do so. Instead, she went to the ER the following Monday and learned how serious her injuries were. Despite surgeries, medication, and physical therapy, she was permanently unable to return to work. We helped her recover $475,000.
Our client received $6 million after he was knocked unconscious from a slip and fall accident in the reception area of a manufacturing company. He was visiting for a sales meeting when he noticed a puddle of water on the floor. While attempting to clean it up, he slipped and hit his head on the reception counter. He was unconscious for about four minutes and emergency responders brought him to the local hospital.
This case made headlines because the manufacturing company’s safety manager appeared to tamper with evidence – including video surveillance footage – to hide the case. Our client’s case went to trial and lasted eight days before his attorneys reached a settlement with the company.
When walking on the sidewalk in Northwest Philadelphia our client slipped and fell, fracturing her ankle. She sued the property owner for negligence. She claimed the property owner should have better maintained the property to keep it safe for pedestrians by salting or removing the ice.
The court awarded Doris $30,000 to cover her medical bills, including the open reduction and internal fixation surgery on her ankle, with a plate and screws implanted. She also sought compensation for pain and suffering because she was off her feet for six weeks, required six months of physical therapy, and became dependent on her children during recovery.
In the past few years, The City of Philadelphia has paid out more than $17 million in settlements because of poorly maintained sidewalks. The local NBC Philadelphia affiliate created an interactive map showing where poorly maintained city sidewalks are and how they are dangerous to pedestrians.
There are several other examples of slip and fall settlements in Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia, and New Jersey. While your ice-related slip and fall case might not make headlines like these lawsuits, you can use them as examples to better understand the pain and suffering that people experience when businesses are negligent.
How much is your claim worth? The only way to find out is to call. Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
If you’re the victim of a slip and fall, knowing that to do next is important. The first step is to look after your injuries. After that, make sure to take the following steps so that you can hold the negligent party responsible.
Even if you “feel fine” you should get yourself looked at after a serious fall. Some injuries can take days or weeks to reveal themselves. Left untreated, they can become serious and potentially even fatal.
An examination by a medical professional also helps establish whether an injury came from the slip and fall or something else.
If you injured yourself at a business, you should let them know right away. Most companies have a process to follow whenever someone gets hurt. This includes saving any security footage, taking pictures of the accident area, and reviewing what went wrong. One common injury during the winter is slipping on a puddle of melted snow inside a store. These puddles get cleaned up quickly after an accident, so having someone to confirm your story is important.
In some cases, it might make sense to file a police report. The purpose of the report isn’t to charge someone with a crime, but to have a neutral description of events.
As part of their reporting process, most businesses gather evidence of your injury. However, to make sure that they don’t miss anything, it might be a good idea to gather some of your own. When you file a claim, you also want to have evidence about the cost of your injuries. Some of the information you’ll likely want to save:
This is by no means an exhaustive list. When you tell us about what happened, we may recommend you save other evidence. This is why contacting us should be your next step.
If you’re thinking of filing a claim, call our office as soon as you’re done getting the injury evaluated by your doctor. Speaking with a lawyer is one of the most crucial steps to protect your legal rights. Insurance companies know that when you’re recovering, you just want to move on. This is why they’ll give you a low offer and hope you accept it.
When you work with us, however, you have an experienced person fighting for you. We know how the law works and how insurance companies try to avoid paying what they should. We don’t let them.
One of the most common types of injuries, you’re particularly vulnerable to when you fall in the winter. Losing your balance means your limbs might flail around in unexpected ways. This sudden movement increases the chance of a muscle or ligament strain.
The accident might also cause you to hyper-extend and twist your joints before you fall on them. This puts more strain on your muscles and can lead to your knee, hip, or shoulder popping out of joint or more serious injuries.
Fracturing or breaking a bone due to a slip and fall is more common than you might think. While they mainly track indoor falls, the National Floor Safety Institute estimates that 1 out of every 20 falls result in a fracture. When you add in the unpredictability of ice and snow, that number can be far higher.
As you get older, your risk of a fracture from falling increases. Someone who falls at 85 is 10 to 15 times more likely to fracture their hip during a fall than someone who is 65 or younger.
The long term effects of a fracture also get worse with age. Even “routine” fractures become life-altering. One in every two adults over the age of 65 who fracture their hip in a fall never make a full recovery. Even with therapy, they may be unable to care for themselves or live independently.
An unexpected fall in the winter can also lead to serious brain injury or trauma. The strain it puts on your body is like what happens to football players, but you don’t have a helmet for protection. Brain injuries can lead to headaches, short term memory loss, and even changes in personality.
Traumatic brain injury can alter the lives of victims of any age, but it is particularly devastating as you get older. Victims over the age of 65 have a higher risk of spinal chord injuries due to their lower bone density.
The physical injuries you receive after a call have immediate consequences. The pain hopefully fades with time, but the financial and personal impact can last far longer.
Depending on how serious your injury is, you might find yourself facing mounting medical bills. Not only do these include your trip to the hospital, but the ongoing therapy and medication as well. These bills can extend for months or years. If your accident is really serious, you might have bills for the rest of your life.
Not only can an icy slip cost you money, but it could reduce your income as well. You might have to take time off or work reduced hours as you recover. For serious injuries, you might lose your job or be unable to work entirely.
Long-term pain from a fall can make everyday tasks, like sitting in an office chair, unbearable. Even if you’re able to still work, it might mean taking a lower-paying job.
How long it takes you to recover from your slip and fall injury depends on several factors, including:
If someone caused your accident, they should help pay for your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.Return to Contact Console and Associates.
Slipping on the ice or snow can cause long-lasting injuries. From missed days at work to months or years to recovery, it’s a long, expensive journey. You don’t have to walk it alone.
Just because you fell doesn’t mean the accident was your fault. If someone’s negligence caused you to get hurt, they have the responsibility to help you get better. That’s how the law should work and that’s how it will work if you let us file your claim.
We know how to work with insurance companies to get you the money you deserve. At our firm, we’ll never treat you like a number and we’ll always go above and beyond for you.
We have more than twenty years of experience helping victims, so we know that compensation isn’t the only thing that matters. Our team will handle the claim, letting you focus on recovering. We’ll work with your doctors to get your bills paid. Once we win, we’ll help you negotiate any bills you have so you can keep more of the settlement. We’ve saved some of our clients thousands of dollars, or more.
If you’re not sure if you have a claim or not, call us. The law can be confusing to figure out on your own, but we’ll be happy to walk you through it. The call is free, and if we decide to take on your case there’s still no cost for you until you win. Talking to us is financially risk-free. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, why not give us a call today?