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Falls and Premises Liability

Falls and Premises Liability

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person slipping on stairs

Fall Liability

Although people of any age may fall, the elderly are at highest risk for serious injury.

Studies have shown that 30 to 60 percent of people who live in the community fall each year.

Landlords, property owners, business owners, and others are at risk for being the target of a premises liability claim when a person falls.

Invisible curb

Several years ago my husband fell in front of a restaurant because of a hazard that was just laying in wait for some unfortunate soul. The restaurant had a driveway that contained a curb that was impossible to see in the dark. My husband fell face first over it and fractured his eye socket.

When I went to the restaurant to get him help, the owner came outside and observed my husband’s face dripping blood. “No one has ever fallen over that before”, he told me when I pointed out the hazard and advised him to put some kind of reflective paint on it to make it stand out. I gave him my card but he never called to find out how my husband was.

Fortunately, my husband recovered without permanent injury. This restaurant is in my hometown. I waited to see how long it took before the curb was marked – 2 years!

Bruise on hip after fallThese are some of the kinds of fall cases Med League have helped attorneys with:

  • A woman who had poor vision fell in a supermarket when she tripped over a display that was right in the path of traffic
  • A man tripped over an uneven sidewalk
  • A woman slipped on ice outside the post office
  • A man slipped on water at the bottom of poorly lit stairs
  • A woman tripped on broken stairs
  • A child tripped over a cat and fell head first down stairs
  • A man tripped over an uneven lip of a ramp
  • A man tripped over a cord that was stretched over a sidewalk
  • A man slipped on a banana peel beside a dumpster (really!)

From this list, it is easy to assemble some of the most common hazards for fall cases:

  • Poor or inadequate lighting
  • Wet, slippery surfaces
  • High gloss floors
  • Lack of handrails on stairs
  • Poor sidewalk or pavement conditions
  • Inappropriate chair height
  • Clutter or storage problems
  • Loose mats, throw rugs
  • Tree roots
  • Pets and pet-related objects

Some of these hazards relate to poor design, poor enforcement of safety codes, inadequate codes, and inattention.

We all have a role in identifying hazards, pushing to get them fixed, and protecting our aging population from the risks of falls.

Med League provides medical expert witnesses to trial lawyers. Please call us at (908)788-8227 or contact us today to discuss your next case.

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