Injured from a Slip, Trip, and Fall in New Jersey
More than one million people every year suffer some form of injury from a slip and fall. These slip and fall accidents occur in various locations and for various reasons. A slip and fall accident can happen in a grocery store, on a sidewalk, inside someone’s home, at a construction site, at a bar or nightclub, or at just about any other type of location. Similarly, factors ranging from uneven pavement to an icy sidewalk can lead to a slip & fall and cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve and tissue damage, broken bones, and even paralysis or death.
Depending on the specific circumstances, the property owner, the company who controlled the premises, or some other individual or entity may be liable for the injuries which result from the slip and fall accident. However, winning a slip and fall accident claim in New Jersey is rarely easy. These cases are often strongly defended by property owners and their insurance carriers, which means that it is absolutely vital that you have a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney on your side.
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a slip or trip and fall accident in New Jersey, the experienced NJ personal injury lawyers at our firm can help. Call our local office in Monmouth County today at 732-825-6120 to schedule a free consultation about your case. You can also request a free case evaluation by using our convenient form.
What are Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries in NJ?
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is imperative that you seek and maintain medical treatment for your injuries. The diagnosis, coupled with the treatment length, may determine the length of the case, as well as amount of damages you ultimately receive. For example, if you break your arm and need a cast, the diagnosis and treatment will be limited in cost and duration. However, if you slip and fall and break your neck, the treatment will take a greater length of time and may require multiple tests, doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy. In a more serious situation, it is possible that the full extent of your slip and fall injuries will not be fully known for a long period of time.
Some of the most common types of injuries resulting from slip and falls include:
- Fractures: A broken or fractured bone can occur as a result of a fall on a sidewalk or a fall inside a retail store. Many slip and falls lead to broken legs, arms, shoulders, wrists, ankles, and hips. That is because any kind of abrupt or unexpected contact with a hard surface can cause significant physical trauma, particularly to the victim’s legs and arms.
- Sprains, strains, and tears: An individual who falls on icy steps or on an icy sidewalk may suffer a muscle strain, sprain, or tear. These injuries can be very painful and often require a significant amount of time and rehabilitation before the body fully recovers.
- Neck, back, and spine injuries: If an individual strikes his or her head or neck area as a result of a slip and fall accident, they may suffer neck, back, or spine injuries. These injuries can include herniated, bulging, or ruptured discs, which tend to be extremely painful and pose significant long-term health risks. In the most severe situations, an individual could suffer permanent damage and wind up paralyzed from a neck or back injury.
- Brain injuries: When a slip and fall occurs, an individual might strike his or her head against the ground. If this happens, the individual could suffer a closed head injury such as a skull fracture, a concussion, a contusion, hemorrhaging, or some other serious head injury. Any kind of blow to the head can have severe consequences, ranging from short-term physical ailments to permanent brain damage. In many cases, a traumatic brain injury can cause significant cognitive impairments like confusion, headaches, memory loss, the inability to concentrate, loss of hearing, and sensitivity to light and/or noise. In the worst cases, a traumatic brain injury can be fatal.
- Permanent disability: An injury to the brain or spinal cord has the potential to cause long-term damage, including permanent disability and paralysis. This could significantly reduce your quality of life as you struggle to perform ordinary tasks in the weeks, months, and years after the accident. Even a partial disability could make it impossible for you to return to work and earn a living as you did before the slip and fall accident.
- Wrongful death: Although rare, it is possible for a slip and fall accident to result in the tragic loss of life. This is why it is imperative that anyone who suffers a blow to the head in a slip and fall seek immediate medical attention so that a doctor can diagnose any potential health issues before it is too late. If you already lost a loved one in a slip and fall or any other type of accident, you may be entitled to death or survivor benefits.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to undergo multiple surgeries and you could require future medical care after surgery, including prescription medication and the use of crutches and braces. Additionally, if you are unable to return to work immediately after suffering your slip and fall injury, you may have to deal with lost wages. In fact, a catastrophic injury from a slip and fall accident often requires physical therapy, long-term rehabilitation, and an extended absence from work. Worse yet, if you never fully recover from your slip and fall injuries, you might not be able to return to work at all.
Steps to Take after Suffering a Slip & Fall Injury
Slip and fall accidents are often litigated in what are known as premises liability claims. These types of legal claims can be difficult to win because homeowners, store owners, and their insurance companies often attempt to blame the victim for failing to exercise sound judgment and for causing the slip and fall accident themselves. Even when the property owner is clearly at fault for the slip and fall, their insurance company can make the process of recovery extremely difficult by limiting the initial settlement offer and then delaying payment.
The best way to preserve your interests and maximize your chances of recovery is to exercise good judgment as soon as the slip and fall occurs. If you are seriously injured in a slip and fall accident while on someone else’s property, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention and make sure that your health is not in jeopardy. Once your health and safety are no longer at risk, you should consider taking the following steps to best preserve any potential legal claims:
- Talk to Manager or Owner: Talk to the property owner, store manager, or other person in charge of the premises and report the slip and fall accident. Try to get their contact information if you can.
- Talk to Witnesses: Write down contact information for any witnesses in case their testimony is needed later. Also, try to record any witness statements at the scene.
- Take Photos: Take photographs of the site where you slipped and fell, including any liquids or slippery spots on the ground. Try to take photos and preserve evidence before the property owner remedies the danger and changes the condition of the property.
- Get Medical Records: If you went to the doctor for treatment, make sure that you get copies of medical records. Proof of the extent of your injuries could go a long way toward securing a better settlement offer or winning at trial.
- Keep Record of Injuries: Keep a detailed a record of your injuries through photographs and a written journal. Make sure that any photos of your injuries are dated so that you can document the progress of your recovery if and when the case goes to trial later.
- Don’t Sign Away Your Legal Rights: Do not talk to the property owner’s insurance agent without first consulting legal counsel. Speaking of which…
- Talk to an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Let a professional focus on the legal matters while you focus on your health. A knowledgeable attorney can determine what kind of insurance coverage the property owner carries, negotiate with the insurance company, and take the case to trial if necessary.
Can I Obtain Compensation for Slip & Fall Injuries in NJ?
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury as a result of a slip and fall in New Jersey, call the personal injury lawyers at our firm as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys represent individuals who have suffered injuries from a slip and fall in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, and throughout New Jersey. If you would like to speak with one of our New Jersey slip and fall lawyers, contact us today. One of our attorneys will set up a time to meet with you and discuss all of your options. Consultations are always provided free of charge.