Slip and fall accidents in Arkansas are among the most common causes of ER visits in the state. It’s estimated that nationwide roughly 1 million emergency department visits are because of injuries suffered in a fall. And while the majority of a slip and fall accidents result in minor bruising and maybe some scraped flesh, at least 5% of people break bones when they fall. In addition, head trauma (specifically traumatic brain injury—or TBI—like concussion) is a serious risk as well. And you can expect to compound any of those injuries if the victim is older than 65. But none of those statistics really speak to the true financial costs associated with slip and fall accidents.
Hospital Bills Aren’t the Only Drain on Your Finances
At least one source estimates that medical expenses alone from slip and fall accidents across the country cost Americans roughly $34 billion every year. And that’s just the direct medical expenses. That figure doesn’t take into account:
- Physical therapy and other post-ER treatment
- Lost wages (due to missing work)
- Prescription costs (pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory medications are all commonly prescribed)
- Various and sundry expenses (like travel to and from doctor visits) that add up daily
So, while the average hospital bill resulting from visiting an ER for a serious slip and fall accident could run (on average) up to $30,000, victims of slip and fall accidents could be looking at actual financial expenses of at least twice that—if not more.
Could Your Family Absorb a $30K Hit?
According to a recent survey by Bankrate, almost 1/3 of us (28%) have no emergency savings whatsoever. That means if we were hit with a significant out-of-pocket expense because of an emergency room visit or surgical procedure stemming from a slip and fall accident, we would have no way to cover that expense. But what about the other 2/3?
Only 41% of us would be able to cover a $1,000 co-pay or hospital bill with our savings. The rest would be forced to look for other ways to foot the bill. Most (37%) would turn to credit card companies in a pinch, but that would leave them paying relatively high interest rates. 1% have absolutely no idea how they could possibly afford to cover a $1,000 emergency.
Keep in mind, that the hypothetical emergency mentioned above is just $1,000. As mentioned above, the national average expense associated with a slip and fall accident is $30,000. Granted, a good health insurance policy would cover a significant portion of that (usually around 80%) but only after the victim shells out their deductible. (Deductibles, according to one survey, average over $4,000.)
Paying for Medical Treatment without Draining Your Savings
A personal injury claim is a solid way for victims of slip and fall accidents in Arkansas to get their medical bills and other associated expenses paid for (or at least to get reimbursement for a significant portion of those expenses). These types of claims hinge on determining negligence. Thankfully, the duty of property owners and businesses to prevent slip and fall accidents is clearly defined under various laws in Arkansas.
These individuals and legal entities must keep patrons and the public safe by:
- Removing snow and ice build-up in front of doorways, for example.
- They must also minimize the risk of falls by ensuring flooring and floor coverings (like mats) are in good repair and not curled at the edges.
- Grocery store owners must take precautions to minimize the risk caused by spills and physical hazards (such as loose produce, hoses, or electrical cords) on their floors.
- Apartment owners must ensure stairwells are well-lit and clear of debris.
The list goes on.
Basically, as a victim, you need to know that if any of these individuals fail in that duty, it could be viewed as negligence in the eyes of the law, making them responsible for the expenses associated with your accident.
If you need financial assistance after a fall in a publically accessible place (like a grocery store or a big-box retailer), contact an experienced slip and fall accident attorney in Arkansas right away. Get in touch with the expert legal team at the Pfeifer Law Firm today. Reach out online or call 501-374-4440 today. The consultation is free, and you don’t owe us anything until we recover for you.