Tulsa Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
A slip and fall accident can happen to anyone. All it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While some slip and fall accidents are simply that – accidents – others may arise from someone else’s negligence. When a slip and fall injury occurs as the result of someone else’s legal fault, it falls under an area of law called “premises liability.” It may seem overwhelming at first, but our experienced Tulsa premises liability attorneys, Spencer Bryan and Steven Terrill, have more than 17 years of experience and will make the process as simple and quick as possible. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Tulsa, OK – contact us immediatly for a free consultation!
Falls are the number one cause of emergency room visits in the United States. Over 8 million Americans come to our nation’s emergency departments for treatment after slip and fall accidents, which is a fifth of all ER visits in any given year. Falls are usually minor, but some can have serious and even life-threatening consequences. About 5% of all fall victims reporting to emergency departments report fractures, and other possible injuries include concussions and internal bleeding. These injuries can take weeks or months to heal, with some injuries requiring surgery.
Premises Liability Resources and FAQ’s:
What is a premises liability lawsuit?
Common Types of Injuries From a Slip/Fall
Where do slip and fall accidents usually occur?
What is the statute of limitations for a slip and fall injury?
What type of damages can I recover for premises liability injuries?
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the notion that all owners of a property have a legal responsibility to maintain and keep their grounds safe for visitors. However, it’s important to note that just because you were injured on someone else’s property, this doesn’t make them negligent. In order to have legal grounds for a slip and fall suit, you must prove that the owner did or should have known about an unsafe condition on their property, and failed to rectify it.
Slip and fall liability and premises liability are interchangeable terms, but they can apply to a range of scenarios. For example, a swimming pool accident may be a matter of premises liability law, as are injuries on staircases, escalators, and college campuses. Injuries arising from inadequate security and even dog bites fall within the realm of premises liability law. However, the most common type of premises liability accident is a slip and fall scenario.
Types of Injuries From Slip/Fall Accidents
Many slip and fall injuries are minor. For example, if you slipped and fell on a cracked sidewalk, you might only skin your knee or bruise your palms. However, some slip and fall accidents have the potential to be very serious. The effects of slip and fall accident scan be incapacitating, and include:
- Soft tissue injury. These injuries might not be readily visible, which can make them hard to prove in a lawsuit. In fact, you might not realize that you have a soft tissue injury right away. These types of injuries can take hours or even days to fully develop. Examples include ankle and wrist sprains, even tears of your tendons or ligaments. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to chronic pain and increased risk of repeat injury. These injuries may also keep you from your livelihood, resulting in lost wages.
- Head injuries. Even if a head injury seems minor, it could be a medical emergency. Falling and hitting your head can lead to concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI). If left untreated, these conditions can be life threatening or lead to a lifetime of incapacity. Seek immediate treatment for any head condition, especially if you notice headache, blurry vision, confusion, or dizziness.
- Spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury occurs when the delicate bundle of nerves in your spine becomes compressed or severed. These injuries are life threatening and require immediate medical care. They can lead to permanently disabling conditions and incapacity. The higher on the body the spinal cord injury occurs, the more extensive the damage. Though rare, these are possible consequences of a serious slip and fall accident.
- Abrasions or cuts. These are minor injuries common to slip and fall accidents. Though they may not disrupt your work or quality of life, they may require stitches and a visit to the ER, which can be expensive.
- Fractures. Broken bones can be painful, expensive, and scary. A slip and fall accident may result in broken bones in the extremities, but the imaging, diagnoses, and treatment may cost thousands of dollars. Any physical therapy will come at an additional expense.
Common Locations for Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip and fall accident can occur almost anywhere, and each incident has its own unique circumstances. However, some of the most common types of slip and fall accidents include:
- Incidents at grocery stores or big box stores. These types of cases can be complex to litigate, as their lawyers may require documentation, like incident reports. A slip and fall attorney is essential in handling these types of cases.
- Small business accidents. A slip and fall accident with a small business might not be as complex as a large conglomerate. Still, working with a slip and fall attorney is essential to protect your best interest during insurance company negotiations.
- Hotels and resorts. Accidents at a hotel swimming pool or arising from inadequate maintenance are common. Be sure to file an incident report with the company as soon as possible.
- Rented homes and apartment communities. In an apartment or home, a slip and fall accident may result from inadequate property maintenance. Other premises liability concerns include the presence of lead-based paint or asbestos. In many cases, the landlord will be responsible for harm arising from these types of injuries.
- Public parks and spaces. The government has a responsibility to maintain its parks and sidewalks for the public to enjoy. If an injury happens in a public park, a case involving the government can be extremely difficult to pursue. It’s essential to retain the services of a slip and fall attorney with experience with governmental litigation in these cases.
- Private homes. Accidents arising in private homes are usually the responsibility of the company providing homeowners insurance.
- Work. Premises liability cases at work may be a matter of workers’ compensation, or you may be able to take legal action against your employer. Talk to an attorney for details.
Premises Liability Overview – Oklahoma Law
Each state handles premises liability a little differently. In Oklahoma, you have two years from the incident giving rise to the injury to file a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. However, it’s in your best interest to contact a Tulsa personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney will help you protect your best interests and a speedy response will help establish the legitimacy of your claim.
In order to collect damages following a slip and fall accident, you’ll have to provide sufficient evidence for the following points under Oklahoma law:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care. In most instances, a property owner owes all visitors and invitees a duty of care. In others, however, there is no duty of care. This applies when a person is trespassing or in the process of breaking the law on another’s property.
- The property owner committed negligence. A property owner might have committed negligence if they knew, or should have known, about a defective or unsafe condition, but did not rectify it.
- You sustained harm as the result of that negligence. It’s not enough that a property owner was negligent with regard to the upkeep or ownership of a property. That negligence must lead to injury or harm.
- You incurred damages as a result. Finally, you must prove that your injuries led to economic damages. These may include medical bills, lost wages, or therapy costs.
Another common subarea of premises liability law is negligent security. In other words, a person may become injured in a public place because the owners did not take adequate measures to ensure a visitor’s safety. A common example of negligent security is an accident or injury occurring at an Oklahoma college campus. College campuses may fall short in protecting their students, staff, or visitors when they fail to foresee or prevent harm because of insufficient security. Examples include:
- Failing to maintain or install locks in dormitories, or public buildings.
- Failure to maintain or install lighting in stairwells or parking garages.
- Failure to address security concerns, even after knowledge of prior attacks on campus.
College campuses have a legal obligation to keep their students safe when they’re on the property or participating in school-sponsored activities. However, college campuses are not the only facilities that can be guilty of negligent security. All public places have a responsibility to keep their visitors safe. Other examples include museums, grocery stores, apartment complexes, hospitals, movie theaters, and shopping malls.
If you or a loved one suffered harm resulting from inadequate security, you may be able to collect damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensation Available In a Premises Liability Lawsuit
Victims of premises liability accidents in Oklahoma are entitled to two types of damages. These include:
- Economic damages, which compensate for material losses like medical bills, lost wages, and any necessary therapy costs
- General damages, which include the intangible losses of the accident. These include pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Personal injury lawsuits can help victims compensate for damages they suffer as the result of someone else’s negligence. At Bryan &Terrill Law, we believe that no one should have to pay for injuries that are someone else’s legal fault. We help victims of slips and falls, negligent security, and other premises liability matters find financial recourse for their injuries.
The first step in the process is to schedule a free initial consultation. Let our firm examine the specifics of your case and see how we can help. If we think you have grounds for a slip and fall lawsuit, we will offer our services on a contingency-fee basis. This means you will only owe a fee if we win a settlement or court judgment on your behalf. Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation today.