Slip-And-Fall Accident Lawyers In New Richmond
Sometimes, a fall may simply result from losing your footing or tripping over your own shoelaces. These types of falls don’t involve at-fault parties from whom you can pursue compensation. Rather, you will likely just brush yourself off and keep going.
Other falls, however, may result from negligence, and the resulting injuries may prove severe and costly. These serious falls can happen anywhere, at any time. You may stumble on an uneven sidewalk and break your wrist while shopping along North Knowles Avenue, or you could fall down the stairs and hit your head while cheering on the Tigers.
If you or a loved one fell because of another party’s negligence, you may qualify to pursue compensation for any related injuries. You should speak with a New Richmond slip and fall attorney to learn more about your rights following a slip and fall accident.
- Slip-And-Fall Accident Lawyers In New Richmond
- Nicolet Law Accident & Injury LawyersâNew Richmond Slip and Fall Attorneys
- We Go the Extra Mile for Our Clients
- Slip and Fall Accident Claims
- Common Hazards for Slip and Fall Accidents in New Richmond
- Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
- Common Locations for Slip and Fall Accidents in New Richmond
- Premises Liability Explained
- New Richmond Slip and Fall FAQ
- Get Answers to Your New Richmond Slip and Fall Accident Questions
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers—New Richmond Slip and Fall Attorneys
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have served the St. Croix Valley since 2007. Our attorneys and staff do more than work in New Richmond and the surrounding areas. We also live here, send our kids to school here, and give back to the community that we call home.
As a personal injury law firm, we believe that everyone has a right to live in a safe community and have access to legal representation when they need it. That’s why we answer our phones 24/7 and offer free consultations.
We Go the Extra Mile for Our Clients
Our attorneys leave no stone unturned for slip and fall accident victims. When a client came to us after she slipped on ice outside of a gas station, attorney Benjamin Nicolet immediately sent an investigator to the scene. We discovered multiple hazards that likely contributed to the accident. A roof drainpipe caused water to freeze on the sidewalk, and we also uncovered a concrete vehicle stop that protruded into the walkway.
This case had an added complication, as a settlement would have jeopardized our client’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. Benjamin worked with a local attorney to create a special trust. The woman could receive the compensation she needed to cover the cost of her injuries and still receive her SSI payments.
If your slip and fall injuries qualify you for a lawsuit, we’ll put the same work ethic and skilled research into your case.
Slip and Fall Accident Claims
Property owners must keep their premises safe and well-maintained.
If you sustained injuries on someone else’s property, including public property, you may have a legal case if you can prove:
- Some type of hazard, whether an object in the way or a lack of maintenance, caused your fall.
- The property owner, or another responsible party—such as an employee, should have known of the hazard and taken action to remedy it.
- The responsible party failed to fix or remove the hazard.
- Finally, the at-fault party’s failure to fix or remove the hazard caused your slip and fall accident and subsequent injuries.
Common Hazards for Slip and Fall Accidents in New Richmond
Snow and ice constitute common fall hazards. New Richmond endures long, cold winters. Business owners as well as the city have a responsibility to keep walkways that the public uses free of snow and ice. This includes shoveling or plowing as soon as reasonably possible and then spreading salt or sand down, if necessary.
Other slip and fall hazards that exist in New Richmond include:
- An uneven or cracked sidewalk
- Tall weeds or grass on a walkway
- Spilled food or beverages in a busy bar or restaurant
- Ripped carpeting in a hotel lobby
- Liquid spills in grocery stores
- Roof leaks at a convenience store
- Floor clutter at a boutique
- Poorly maintained playground equipment at school or one of the city’s parks
You have a right to shop, recreate, and enjoy The City Beautiful without landing at Westfields Hospital.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can prove debilitating.
These injuries prevent people from working, going to school, playing sports, and carrying out day-to-day activities.
- Wrist and hand injuries commonly result from slip and fall accidents. Many people feel the instinct to put their arms out and brace themselves. This can lead to serious sprains and fractures.
- Knee injuries also prove common, when people either fall on their knees or twist their legs during a fall.
- A blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls account for nearly half of all TBI-related hospitalizations.
- Neck injuries, like whiplash, can also occur.
- Finally, individuals involved in slip and fall accidents may sustain back injuries that range from bruising to a fracture or slipped disc.
Children under the age of 18 make up 25 percent of New Richmond’s population. These young people face an increased risk of slip and fall accidents. According to the WI Department of Health Services (DHS), falls constitute the number one cause of unintentional injuries in children.
Common Locations for Slip and Fall Accidents in New Richmond
Anyone who owns property in New Richmond has a responsibility to keep the premises safe. This duty extends to the city, homeowners, and business owners.
A slip and fall accident can happen virtually anywhere; however, some locations and situations prove more accident-prone than others, including:
- Older buildings that don’t meet modern safety codes or have fallen into disrepair
- Frequently used walkways and stairs, which usually sustain significant wear-and-tear damage
- Crowded areas, like the Heritage Center Farmers Market or the Park Art Fair, can make it difficult to notice tripping hazards
- Poorly-lit areas can make it difficult to see and increase your risk of a fall
- Staircases with loose or missing handrails
- Construction or renovation sites that lack clear signs limiting access
Premises Liability Explained
Premises liability claims are about holding property owners accountable for negligence that results in injuries. Examples of slip-and-fall accidents that are candidates for a premises liability claim include:
- A shopper slipping on a wet floor at the grocery store
- Someone slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk in front of a shop
- A visitor falling down as a result of a loose railing
At Nicolet Law Firm, our local New Richmond personal injury attorneys examine the circumstances surrounding such accidents to determine if they could have and should have been prevented. Investigations include looking at evidence such as security camera footage to determine how long a hazard was there. For example, someone slipping on a fresh spill may not result in a legal claim, while someone slipping on a spill that has been there for an hour would because it is reasonable to expect someone to take action in that time frame.
A successful claim can provide financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages that occur due to a slip-and-fall accident. We prepare every case for the possibility of trial, allowing us to negotiate with the insurance companies from a position of strength. They know we will settle for nothing less than what our clients deserve.
New Richmond Slip and Fall FAQ
When you slip and fall on someone else’s property, the experience usually takes you by surprise. Sometimes your recovery is a matter of overcoming embarrassment and walking away. After a more serious impact, you often find that you have sustained injuries as well. While some falls cause simple bruises and scrapes, others cause injuries that require emergency treatment, hospitalization, and long-term care.
When your fall occurs due to an adverse condition on someone’s property, the owner and other parties often share liability for your injuries. Despite their negligence, property owners rarely pay for injury claims voluntarily. It is usually up to you to make sure the responsible parties or their insurers pay for your injuries.
What Factors Contribute to New Richmond Slips and Falls?
Slip and fall accidents happen everywhere. They occur in restaurants, entertainment venues, grocery stores, and office buildings. People sustain fall-related injuries in just about any place where people walk or gather together.
Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents fall-related injuries as a major problem. Among older adults, falls contribute to more emergency center visits and hospitalizations than any other cause. They frequently contribute to young children’s non-fatal injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regularly records falls as the leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities.
We believe that it is important to know the facts before you or a loved one sustains an injury during a fall. We created Our New Richmond Slip and Fall FAQ to provide information you need to know.
How Often Do Falls Occur?
The CDC’s Fall Prevention pages share these statistics.
- S. emergency centers treat over 2.5 million children for fall injuries each year.
- Hospitals admit 800,000 people each year for fall-related injuries.
- Of adults aged 65 plus, 28 percent report falling each year.
- Older people die from fall-related injuries more frequently than from any other condition.
- Wisconsin seniors have one of the highest fall-related fatality rates in the country.
- When an older person falls, one in five incidents causes a fracture, head trauma, or some other serious injury.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents?
Falls occur frequently because they occur under so many different circumstances. They often involve preventable conditions and situations such as poor maintenance or inadequate lighting.
Falls sometimes occur due to untimely upkeep and failure to warn of a hazard.
- Stairs and Landings: Inadequate lighting, broken or missing handrails, uncorrected surface deterioration, and worn carpet.
- Escalators/Elevators: Poor maintenance, deteriorating floors, and mechanical malfunctions.
- Sidewalks/Parking Lots: Badly maintained pavement, inadequate snow and ice removal, and potholes.
- Stores/Retail Locations: Blocked aisles, unresolved spills, dirty floors, wet floors, and inappropriate merchandise displays.
- Restaurants/Entertainment Venues: Worn carpeting, uneven tiles, poorly maintained stairs, and inadequate lighting.
- Damaged Sidewalks and Pavement: Cracked or crumbling concrete, holes in the pavement, and sidewalk height variances.
- Sports Fields/Playgrounds: Foreign objects, hidden holes in public areas, surface deterioration, and broken pavement.
What Types of Injuries Do Slip and Fall Victims Sustain?
Slip and fall incidents do not always cause serious injuries. Unfortunately, serious trauma occurs more frequently than you might imagine. The most serious injuries occur due to falls on hard surfaces or from one level to another. Injury severity often relates to a victim’s age and physical condition.
Unfortunately, certain injuries occur frequently.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center tracks 18,557 TBI patients. Twenty-nine percent sustained TBI injuries in fall-related incidents.
- Fractures and Dislocations: Fractures often occur in falls on hard surfaces and from elevated places such as stairways and landings. The CDC verified that 95 percent of all hip fractures occurred during falls.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center follows injuries and recoveries for 34,734 SCI patients. Of the patients in their database, 32.3 percent sustained spinal cord injuries in a fall.
- Damaged Internal Organs: When a fall victim sustains internal injuries, it is often related to pelvic or spinal fractures. These types of injuries occur most frequently when the victim is frail due to age or youth.
- Soft Tissues Injuries: Many victims sustain neck, back, leg, and other soft tissue injuries. While some injuries heal with minimal treatment, others cause ongoing recovery complications.
- Laceration and abrasions: These “minor” injuries sometimes cause significant pain, infections, and scarring.
Is a Property Owner Legally Liable for My Injuries When I Fall?
When you fall on someone’s property, an insurance claim representative usually determines if they are responsible. Before you recover damages, you must prove the property owner’s negligence in causing your injuries. Unfortunately, many property owners will not notify their insurers about your injury unless you insist.
Once an insurer receives a report, they conduct their own investigation and evaluate the evidence. Insurers ultimately determine liability based on a longstanding negligence formula: duty owed, duty breached, proximate cause, and damages.
- Duty Owed: Does the property owner owe you a duty to maintain their property?
- Duty Breached: Did the property owner breach their duty to you?
- Proximate Cause: Was this breach of duty the proximate cause of your accident?
- Damages: Did the accident cause your injuries?
In Wisconsin, statutes and case law further define a property owner’s liability for injuries. Your legal status on the property—guest, trespasser, child, etc.—determines the degree of duty with which the owner must comply. Wisconsin Statutes include liability waivers for certain types of properties and uses. Under WI Statute §895.529, property owners have no legal duty to a trespasser, although they cannot set traps.
Can I Recover Damages if I Fall at Work?
You cannot sue your employer, but under Wisconsin Statutes, §102.29 you have legal rights against any negligent third party. Your employer owes only your lost wages and other worker’s compensation benefits. A self-insured employer or worker’s compensation insurance carrier has recovery rights for benefits paid to you or on your behalf.
Is There a Time Limit for Settling My Injury Claim?
Wisconsin has a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you have three years from the date of your fall to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. If you do not take action before the three-year period expires, you can no longer make a claim.
Can I Recover Damages for My Injuries Without Filing a Lawsuit?
You do not have to file a lawsuit to receive a slip and fall settlement. Some insurers investigate claims and offer settlements to minimize costs. When an insurer settles, they save money on defense costs and attorney fees.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Slip and Fall Claim?
Yes. If you want the best settlement results, you should consider working with a slip and fall attorney. Insurance companies realize that you might not fully understand the legal and damage issues. During settlement negotiations, they use your limited knowledge against you. Slip and fall attorneys work directly with insurers and their attorneys. They understand the issues, so they produce the best results possible.
During our free slip and fall consultation, an attorney listens to you and helps you understand your legal rights. Until you are ready, you do not need to file a claim or lawsuit—though the sooner you act, the easier we can collect the evidence you need to prove your case before the statute of limitations expires.
Get Answers to Your New Richmond Slip and Fall Accident Questions
If you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident, you likely have lots of questions. You should speak with one of the attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers as soon as possible following your accident. We’ll talk about the specifics of your case, and you’ll have a chance to ask us questions. You’ll leave understanding your legal options.
To schedule your free case evaluation with a New Richmond slip and fall attorney, call (715) 226-6164 or contact us online.
New Richmond Office
1500 Madison Ave.
New Richmond, WI 54017