Trip and Fall Accidents
Trip and fall accidents may sound silly, but they commonly occur and can result in serious injury. The impact after tripping can be particularly painful because of the momentum that a person already has from walking or running. When an object obstructs a walking path, a person may catch the toe of his or her shoe, causing the individual to pitch forward and lose balance, hitting the ground with a considerable amount of force.
Trip and Fall Risks
Tripping accidents can occur anywhere. They commonly occur where walking traffic is present, such as in shopping malls, grocery stores, office hallways, schools, stairways, apartments, sidewalks, parks, restaurants, hotels, and airports. A person may trip over an object in the pathway, such as an item that has fallen from a shelf or was dropped. The obstruction could also be part of the walkway itself, such as a raised sidewalk edge or uneven stairs. Any of these could cause somebody to trip and fall and be injured. Obstructions sticking even 3/8″ higher than the rest of the walking surface can cause an accident.
Trip and fall accidents, like slips and falls, are classified under Premises Liability law. Premises liability is the division of law that involves the legal responsibility that a property owner has to visitors. Visitors have a responsibility to act safely, but property owners must warn them of any unusual or unsafe conditions that could potentially cause injury. In the case of trip and fall accidents, if a walkway problem was reported but was not fixed, or if the owner had ample time to notice an obstruction but did not fix it, he or she may be liable for any injuries that occur.
Trip and fall accidents can involve severe injuries because they are unexpected and give a person very little time to react before hitting the ground. Head trauma, spine and back injuries, sprained and broken limbs, and severe scrapes and bruises may result from tripping and falling. An injured individual will likely have to deal with costly medical bills, lost wages from time taken off of work, and general pain and suffering. If you have been hurt in a trip and fall accident, the property owner may be liable and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and related costs.