Personal Injury Slip and/or Trip and Fall Attorneys in Charleston, West Virginia
Falls are the second leading cause of injury in West Virginia. Unfortunately, slip or trip and falls also account for an estimated 16,000 deaths each year. Many of these injuries and deaths are caused by dangerous or hazardous property conditions.
If you were injured in a fall caused by a dangerous or hazardous condition on another’s property, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At West Law Firm, we have a proven track record of helping people who have been injured because of dangerous or defective property recover the compensation they deserve. We also work hard to provide each client excellent, caring service — the kind of service we would want for our family should they ever need a lawyer.
If you would like a free evaluation of your personal injury claim, we are here to help and invite you to call us toll free at 1-877-943-9378 (1-304-343-WEST). To learn more about our experience and track record, please see some of our clients’ testimonials. With West Law Firm, there’s also never a fee unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Why slip and falls occur
Over 70% of falls in West Virginia are caused by dangerous conditions involving walking surfaces. Dangerous conditions that cause slip or trip and fall accidents are often the result of poor design or improper maintenance of walking surfaces resulting in slip or trip hazards. Other causes of falls include slippery surfaces, such as those caused by spilled liquids, water leakage and ice build up.
Where slip & fall accidents frequently occur in West Virginia
Slip and fall accidents can occur virtually anywhere – in supermarkets, schools, shopping malls, offices, and sidewalks. For example, your slip and fall may be caused by a wet, slippery surface, or a defect on a floor or sidewalk that causes you to trip. Faulty lighting is also a common cause of slip or trip and fall accidents.
How slip or trip and falls usually occur
Slip and fall accidents generally occur in one of two ways. Either your front foot slips forward, causing you to fall backward or your rear foot slips backward, causing you to fall forward.
A trip and fall often occurs when your foot makes contact with an obstacle in your path, such as an uneven surface, object or protrusion.
An accident involving a fall can cause severe and long-lasting personal injuries. Seeking medical and legal help from as soon as possible after a fall can help you recover physically and financially quicker than trying to do it on your own.
What to do after a trip or slip and fall
1. Seek medical help and contact a WV slip & fall lawyer
If you fall and are injured, seek medical help immediately. In the case of severe injuries, you should call an ambulance. Your personal injuries, however, may not become readily apparent for days, weeks and sometimes months. However, it is important that you get examined by a medical provider as soon as possible to prevent aggravation of latent injuries.
Before giving any statements to anyone but the police, it’s extremely important to call a West Virginia slip & fall lawyer like West Law Firm who are experienced in winning slip and fall accidents and premises liability lawsuits. Premises liability claims often involve State and City codes and specific safety standards and regulations that a good premises liability attorney should be familiar with.
2. Take photos of the hazard that caused your fall
To recover fair compensation for your injuries, it is necessary to identify the dangerous condition that caused you to fall. Because walkway’s dry, sidewalks may be repaired, and objects may be removed, it’s important to preserve the evidence at the site of your fall as soon as possible. If you have a camera (or cell phone camera) with you, take photos of the slip or trip hazard if doing so won’t aggravate your injury. Better yet, ask someone at the scene to take pictures of the hazard and your injuries.
3. Report your accident and injuries
If you fall at a business or public place such as a store, supermarket, restaurant or mall, you should immediately report your accident to management. If you slip and fall and are injured on public property, call 911. It is very important to document your accident and injuries in this way. Incident or accident reports document important information, including the date and time of your fall, the names of witnesses, and the circumstances of your injuries. Most importantly, incident and accident reports provide tangible evidence that your slip and fall accident actually occurred in case there are no witnesses or witnesses later become unavailable.
Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?
Property owners, operators, and managers – both as businesses and individuals – may be liable for your injuries. Ultimately, their insurance carriers are the ones most likely to pay your settlement or verdict. A Personal injury lawyers at West Law Firm in Charleston, WV can locate and identify the property owners by checking appropriate records, including tax rolls and deeds. Some owners and operators who may be responsible for slips and falls, however, may not be as obvious. For example, service providers such as janitorial companies, may also be liable. Franchisers, parent corporations and government entities may also be liable for your injuries. A slip and fall on a defective sidewalk, for example, may impose liability on the local government, whereas a slip and fall in or outside a federal building would implicate the federal government.
Damages You May Recover
If your accident was a result of the negligence of a property owner, operator, or manager, then you may recover compensation for:
- medical bills for past, present and future care;
- lost wages;
- pain and suffering; and
- any loss in your earning capacity.
Although punitive damages are not common in slips and falls, an experienced West Virginia personal injury lawyer may be able to recover punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct amounted to a reckless, wanton or willful disregard for safety, and this disregard caused your injuries.
Slips and falls are often challenging and difficult to prove. To prevail, a personal injury attorney must prove not only the existence of a dangerous condition, but the property owner’s actual or constructive knowledge of that condition. If contacted by a person injured in a slip and fall accident, a skilled West Virginia accident lawyers would immediately do the following:
- Conduct a site inspection to identify the dangerous condition that caused the slip and fall accident;
- Secure evidence of the dangerous condition before it disappears or is destroyed;
- Identify and contact witnesses to the slip and fall accident or witnesses who have knowledge of the dangerous condition;
- Track down prior complaints about the dangerous condition or of prior slip and fall accidents at the same location.
A good West Virginia slip and fall lawyer would then hire the appropriate experts on safety standards to determine the applicability and violation of governmental codes and regulations, and thus establish liability on the part of the negligent property owner. For example, if the slip and fall occurred on a faulty sidewalk, he might engage the services of a structural engineer to show deviation in the height or width of the sidewalk.
Contact a West Virginia Slip & Fall Attorney
What you do and don’t do after an accident may be critical to your slip and fall claim. The best thing you can do to protect your rights is to contact a West Virginia personal injury firm like West Law Firm as soon as possible. A prompt investigation and preservation of evidence is critical to a successful claim. Often, hazards that cause slips and falls are temporary (such as a liquid spill in a supermarket) and may be cleaned up quickly, which effectively destroys critical evidence of your claim. A good attorney will take the necessary steps to preserve evidence, identify and locate witnesses, and assist you in obtaining the best possible medical care.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, or if you have been injured because of a hazard on another’s property, we invite you to call our toll free number at 1-877-943-9378. And there’s NO FEE unless you receive financial compensation.
If you can’t come to us, our West Virginia Slip and Fall Lawyer will come to you. West Law Firm is located in S. Charleston, West Virginia and represent injured clients throughout the state and country.