Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents in Arkansas are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the entire state. But the problem doesn't end there. Nationwide statistics show that there are over 8 million ER visits instigated by slip and fall accidents. While a certain number of these accidents do occur in the home, a disturbing number of them happen at work, while shopping, or someplace outside the home. In cases like that, the property owner could be liable for any injuries and expenses associated with a fall. Indeed, under Arkansas premises liability law, the owner (or manager) could be on the hook for a significant monetary payout.
The Arkansas slip and fall accident lawyer at Pfeifer Law Firm is here to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.Staggering Slip and Fall Accident Statistics
According to The National Floor Safety Institute, 21% of all emergency room visits nationwide are caused by slip and fall accidents. That's over 300,000 ER visits in Arkansas alone. With the average ER visit in Arkansas costing roughly $1,500 (without ambulance transportation or serious orthopedic care); it's not hard to see how quickly a simple slip and fall accident in Arkansas can leave victims feeling the financial pain.
But what's worse, 5% of victims of slip and fall accidents in Arkansas will break at least one bone. When you add in the cost of repairing a fractured limb, straight medical bills from your first ER visit could run as high as $6,000 or more.
But it's not just the direct costs associated with your slip and fall accident that you're entitled to be compensated for. Indeed, slip and fall injuries at work represent the number one cause of days lost from work. If you're injured and can't work, or can't work at full capacity, you're not earning an income. Bills add up, and you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed.
But doesn't worker's compensation cover you if you're hurt at work?
Indeed, slip and fall accidents in Arkansas are the leading cause of worker's compensation claims in the state—up to 85% of all claims totaled. And while victims who suffer slip and fall accidents at work here in Arkansas are often covered by Worker's Compensation insurance, that coverage may not equal a victim's total expenses.
For example, if you slip and fall at work, your medical expenses may be covered and you may be entitled to partial compensation of your total wages, but that insurance may not cover:
- Non-medical expenses (such as transportation to and from doctor's offices)
- Over-the-counter medical supplies you may need (pain medications, bandages, crutch rentals, etc.)
- Repair or replacement of personal property damaged or destroyed in the fall (your watch, cell phone, wardrobe, etc.)
- Mental or emotional stress associated with an accident
And keep in mind that not all employees are covered by worker's compensation insurance policies here in Arkansas. Indeed, some notable exceptions include:
- Independent contractors
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
- Part-time domestic workers (maids, gardeners, etc.)
- Some classes of agricultural workers
It should come as no surprise that elderly individuals are at the highest risk of serious injuries from slip and fall accidents in our state. Indeed, injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents are the leading contributing factor in the accidental deaths of people 65 years old or older. In fact, the hip bone is one of the most common bones to break in a slip and fall accident. That type of injury is also the most common to lead to:
- Serious complications
- Secondary infection
But this age group isn't just in the most danger when they fall; they're at the most risk to fall in the first place. Statistics show that 1/3 people 65 years old or older will experience a slip and fall accident in Arkansas this year. ½ of all people 80 years old or older will fall at least once this year.Getting Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents in Arkansas
While worker's compensation may cover expenses associated with a slip and fall accident at work in Arkansas, the state's premises liability laws outline the financial recovery process for individuals who are hurt outside work.
Indeed, businesses such as department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and other retail or recreational establishments that invite the public in have a clearly-defined legal obligation to maintain reasonably safe conditions regardless of time of day or weather conditions.Poorly Maintained or Inadequate Flooring is the Leading Cause of Commercial Slip and Fall Accidents in Little Rock
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that "flooring material" contributes to over 2 million slip and fall accidents every year.
Under Arkansas law, a business or property owner must:
- Regularly inspect the property for hazards
- Keep potential victims away from potential hazards
- Rectify hazards in a timely fashion.
If they fail to do any of those three things, that property owner or business leader can be held financially liable in civil court or be forced to compensate victims via an insurance settlement.Comparative Negligence and How it Applies to Slip and Fall Accidents in Little Rock
Arkansas is a comparative negligence state. That means that each party involved in an accident can be assigned a portion of the liability (a legal term meaning "blame" or "responsibility") for an accident. Indeed, Arkansas Code Annotated section 16-64-122 says: "If the fault chargeable to a party claiming damages is of a lesser degree than the fault chargeable to the party or parties from whom the claiming party seeks to recover damages, then the claiming party is entitled to recover the amount of his or her damages after they have been diminished in proportion to the degree of his or her own fault."
Distilled down to plain English, that means that each party (including the victim) will be assigned a percentage of the liability. This is good news for victims because even if their actions (such as using a cell phone while walking) or inaction (such as failing to report a potential hazard) contributed to their injuries, the property owner could still be ordered to pay at least a portion of the expenses associated with their injuries.Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Accidents in Little Rock
How long do you have to seek compensation after being injured in a slip and fall accident in Arkansas?
The Arkansas Code (16-56-105) gives victims up to three years to file a civil lawsuit. Obviously, you shouldn't wait that long. In fact, one of the first things you should do after seeing a doctor or visiting the ER is consult with an experienced slip and fall accident attorney in Little Rock to begin the financial recovery process right away.
The sooner you talk with a slip and fall lawyer in Arkansas, the sooner the attorney can start advocating for you and protecting your rights.Get the Legal Help You Need Fast
If you need an expert slip and fall accident attorney in Little Rock, call us today. Dial 501-374-4440 or contact the Pfeifer Law Firm online for a free consultation. We can even schedule consultations after regular business hours and on weekends to meet your personal needs. These consultations are free with no obligation and you don't owe us anything unless we recover for you.