Slip and fall accidents in Arkansas are common. They’re also costly. And if you’ve been injured yourself, the key thing to remember is that slip and fall accidents in public places are not your fault. In fact, Arkansas law mandates that the owners and the operators of publicly accessible establishments like convenience stores, grocery stores, big-box stores, and even apartment complexes take certain precautions to protect people on that property from falling.
Such regulations cover common causes of and factors which contribute to slip and fall accidents like:
- Broken or uneven pavement/pavers (which cause the majority of sidewalk and parking lot slip and fall accidents)
- Snow and ice build-up
- Water, debris, electrical cords, hoses, and other hazards in walkways
- Rolled/curled or lump carpeting or mats
- Poorly constructed or damaged staircases
How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents in Arkansas?
Injuries from slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of ER visits in Arkansas. Many of these accidents occur in the home but a significant portion of them happen in public places like grocery stores. Nationwide, it’s estimated that about 12% of all ER visits are the result of a slip and fall accident. That’s about 1 million slip and falls per year.
What Causes these Falls?
According to accident statistics collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), one of the leading causes of slip and fall accidents is choice of flooring materials. Items like carpet, rugs, floor mats, and more can be extremely dangerous—especially to those with mobility issues like elderly individuals. This hazard contributes to over 2 million slip and fall accidents every year.
How Dangerous Can These Falls Be?
We’ve all done it—slipped and fell. Sometimes we get a bruise or a scraped knee or hand and think nothing more. But some slip and fall accidents are much more detrimental. They can have life-altering (or even life-ending) consequences for some people, and that risk is enhanced in several populations in our state.
- Falls at home account for 50% of all accidental fatalities in the home.
- 33% (1/3) of individuals over the age of 65 will experience a slip and fall accident. In 2005, more than 15,500 people over the age of 65 died as a direct result of a slip and fall accident. That makes falls the leading cause of accidental death for individuals between the ages of 65 and 84.
- The most serious physical injuries associated with slip and fall accidents in Arkansas are broken bones. Roughly 5% of falls end with at least one fracture.
And The Risk Isn’t Just to Your Health
Slip and fall accidents in Arkansas can affect your financial wellbeing in tremendous ways. The average cost of a slip and fall accident can reach as high as $30,000 depending on the types of injuries the victims suffer in a fall. Some singular accidents can result in much higher medical bills—especially when lifelong disability or decreased ability is a result.
And for those of us in the workforce who depend on weekly paychecks for sustenance, shelter, and security, slip and falls at work are a terrifying prospect. Indeed, these types of accidents represent the number one reason why people miss days from work—and valuable paid time. For those workers over the age of 55, slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of stressful worker’s compensation claims.
Getting Help After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in a public place such as a big-box store or at work, your first instinct might be to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arkansas court. And while PI lawsuits can help victims get the necessary financial compensation they deserve, there are also other options for victims who don’t relish the thought of an extended court case.
For example, an insurance claim against the policy purchased by the property owner or your employer could very well get you the type of compensation that you need. However, it’s important not to take the very first offer that an insurance company offers you. You have the ability (and the prerogative) to negotiate your insurance settlement if you think the offer is unfair.
In addition, if an insurance claim is not an option or the policy does not meet your financial needs after a slip and fall accident, your personal injury lawsuit might not go to court at all. Indeed, with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney in Arkansas on your side, the odds of a pre-trial settlement offer greatly increase. That means the defendant (the property owner) may choose to offer you a financial settlement in order to avoid a court battle.
In all of these cases above, it’s important that you seek experienced legal representation so that you cannot be taken advantage of. If you need assistance after a slip and fall accident, contact the legal experts at the Pfeifer Law Firm today. Reach out to us online or call 501-374-4440.