Slip and Fall Accidents: What You Should Know Before You Sue

Picture this; you waescalatorlk into a mall and as you are walking towards the clothing store you suddenly slip or trip and fall. You lose your balance either because the floor tile you just stepped on had an extra helping of floor polish or it was sticking out. Such accidents are not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700,000 people are hospitalized every year because of a fall injury.  

Most fall injury victims are hospitalized for head injuries or hip fractures.

Accidents like these do not just happen in malls but also in workplaces, parks, concert halls and so on. It is important to know the legal options you have in a situation where you slip and fall because someone else was negligent. Our firm knows how handle the complexities and grey areas around slip and fall cases and may handle your case depending on the scenario.

Scenario 1

In the first scenario you fall down to the ground but you only get a small scrape on your arms or any other part of your body. This is not uncommon because the CDC indicates that only one out of five falls result in serious injury. You can still sue the negligent party for emotional distress in this kind of situation.

There is a clear distinction in Illinois law for pure psychiatric (emotional) injury and physical injury.  Emotional injuries are in general not openly visible to the naked eye but can just be as devastating as serious physical injuries. For instance, you may develop an anxiety for malls or public places after an embarrassing episode where you fell in a public area and people laughed at you and shared videos of the incident online.

The elderly (65 and older) are in a greater risk of developing debilitating anxiety after a fall. According to a 2014 study by The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, 30 percent of elderly patients experienced a high level of anxiety after a fall. Since a number of older people already fear falling more than robbery, they are more likely to experience emotional distress in a slip and fall situation.

People respond to accidents in different ways and even the ones that experience strong emotions after accidents tend to recover quickly.

Scenario 2

As you are falling to the ground you flail your arms and land heavily on your right hand while trying to break the fall. The hand is in an awkward position and is not able to support the sudden weight put on it by your body and as a result it breaks.  In this scenario, your arm is broken and that could mean extra medical costs, emotional distress and even lost wages.

You may be in a better position to win a lawsuit against the mall for failing to keep the area safe for shoppers in this scenario. The extra floor polish or the tile sticking out of the floor may be considered as the responsibility of the owner of the building. In Illinois, you have a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit but you may have a greater chance of winning if you file the lawsuit as soon as the accident happens.

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Do you need assistance with a slip and fall accident claim? Contact our slip and fall lawyers today at and visit our website for more information about personal injury claims.