How can I avoid stairway slip and fall accidents?
Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone: the elderly, the young, the disabled, and the able-bodied. Navigating a stairway is safe and easy in most situations, but there are many tiny risks a person can take that could result in a dangerous slip and fall accident. Stairway fall injuries could keep you out of work for weeks, but it could also result in permanent injuries.
Securing an experienced slip and fall attorney is essential post-accident, but to safe on expenses and losses to your ability to enjoy life, you’re far better off preventing stairwell accidents from happening in the first place. Here, we provide several questions that people should ask themselves in order to determine whether a staircase is unsafe.
Do you see a handrail?
Handrails provide stability and balance on stairways. Grip the handrail firmly for the whole duration. Loose/broken handrails cannot be relied on for balance and support. If you use a walker or a cane, do not attempt to navigate stairs without assistance.
Are you wearing the right footwear?
Some shoes have more traction and sole than others. High heels and flip flops are just some types of shoes that could leave you more vulnerable while on a staircase. Depending on your footwear, exercise caution as you go up or down stairs.
Can you see environmental hazards?
Both outdoor and indoor staircases are prone to environmental hazards. Puddles, leaves, ice, grease, detergent, and other contaminants can create a slippery surface. Exercise caution to avoid these hazards as you navigate a stairway.
Is there enough lighting for you to see?
Poor light conditions prevent you from seeing dangers on a stairway. You may not be able to see environmental hazards, or obstacles like garbage and debris. Move slowly in poor lighting, or avoid the stairway entirely.
Is it a real amusement park injury, or am I just shaken up?
After spending a day at the amusement park, some people suffer headaches from rollercoasters, upset stomachs from greasy park food, or maybe a sore ankle from all the walking. Is this an amusement park injury, or are you making a mountain out of a molehill? Do you know when to take action? Headaches and upset stomach are common troubles that result from the amusement park environment. But that doesn’t go for all headaches and all upset stomachs-it’s not uncommon for people to develop discomfort and pains as a result of negligent behavior. If there’s even a trace of doubt in your mind, seek medical attention immediately!
What is a soft tissue injury?
A soft tissue injury is the damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Common soft tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, a blow resulting in a contusion, or overuse of a particular part of the body, or a whiplash from a car accident. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function. In fact, soft tissue injuries can be longer lasting and debilitating than a broken bone.
In many soft tissue injuries, especially if severe pain persists after the first 24 hours, it is recommended that the individual consults a medical professional, who can make a diagnosis and implement a treatment plan.
What makes a good slip and fall injury case?
Making the job easier for your injury lawyer is really just making the job easier for you. To secure the entitlements you deserve, your attorney will be creating cogent, logically-sound arguments to hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries and damages. One of the best things you can do for your injury claim is take specific notes about what happened in your slip and fall accident.
You should be able to answer the following questions:
- Where exactly did the slip and fall occur?
- Did anyone see you? If so, who?
- Did you get that person’s name/contact information/relationship to the nursing home?
- How exactly did the accident occur? (Be as specific as possible)
- Did you notice anything unusual around the area where you slipped and fell?
- How were you discovered after you slipped and fell?
- Did anyone at the nursing home make any admissions of fault?
How can I reduce my risk of sustaining injury in a slip and fall?
There are many ways to reduce the risk of slipping and falling, but it’s impossible to completely avoid the danger. Inevitably, one may fall victim to a slip and fall accident; but can anything be done to prevent injury once this happens? In fact, there are a few ways you can still prevent injury even if you can’t avoid a slip and fall accident.
Here are just a few of the ways you could avoid injury in a fall accident:
Improve your diet and exercise regimen.
Muscular weakness, obesity, and similar problems can make you more vulnerable to slipping and falling, and also to suffering complications after a fall. Diet and exercise can have great effects on your immune system, musculature, and overall health.
Pay attention to “near misses.”
Have you ever nearly slipped and fallen at a restaurant or on steps around your house? If so, consider yourself warned! If you’re out at a public location, contact facility maintenance immediately to fix the danger.
Listen to your body.
Accident research suggests that people who are distracted, tired, and sick are far more vulnerable to getting hurt. If you feel fatigued, out of balance, sick, or just klutzy, pay attention to those feelings and exercise extra care.
What should you do after a slip and fall?
It doesn’t matter if you’re at a grocery store, residential complex, or amusement park, a slip and fall can inflict serious injury to your knees, back, head, or neck. Here’s what to do:
- Get emergency medical attention.
- The damage of a hard fall may not be immediately apparent. Especially with head injuries, you may not realize how hurt you really are until hours or even days later. Call 911 or schedule an appointment with your physician.
- Collect evidence from the scene.
- Take pictures and record witness statements. Be sure to record your own account of events as soon as possible. In the event that you need to take action against a negligent party for your slip and fall, you will need this evidence.
- Watch what you say.
- Slipping and falling in a public place can be an embarrassing incident. Your instinct might be to apologize for causing inconvenience, but even making statements like “I should have watched where I was going” can hurt your potential case if the slip and fall was not your fault.
When should I call a lawyer or my doctor?
Maybe you got your foot caught in a neighbor’s porch and wrenched your ankle. Perhaps you slipped on wet pavement outside your favorite restaurant and hit your head on the asphalt. The situation is annoying, painful, and embarrassing. Do you call a lawyer, or a physician?
Consider these factors in your fall accident:
- The amount of pain you’re in
- Your personal history of injury
- The nature of the slip and fall
- The complexity of the accident
If you are at all in doubt about your health, get peace of mind-call 911 or your physician and get medical attention. If you suspect you may need legal help, contact our team and discuss your situation with us. If you have a case, it is better to know early on, because key evidence in your injury claim may disappear or be destroyed soon after the fall.