Tulsa Slip & Fall Accident Lawyer
If you lose your footing for even a brief second, it may lead to a lifetime of consequences. This is something that slip and fall victims in Tulsa understand only too well. If you have experienced this accident firsthand, you may be struggling with medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and a wide range of other issues. As the medical bills pile up, your injuries may make it impossible to work and earn a living. Meanwhile, you might also be struggling with psychological issues caused by your accident, such as PTSD, depression, and emotional distress.
But you are not alone in this battle. Get help from a Tulsa slip and fall accident lawyer, and you can pursue compensation and justice. Choose the McGuire Law Firm, and you can benefit from years of experience in personal injury law. With a commitment to victims’ rights, McGuire Law can guide you toward positive results in a confident, efficient manner. But how exactly does a slip and fall lawsuit work? How much money can you get? Who can you sue? All of these questions and many others can be answered by a qualified attorney during a consultation, but here are a few insights:
How Can a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Tulsa Help Me?
Tulsa is a major city in Oklahoma with a rich history and plenty of tourist attractions. Having first relied upon its energy sector, the city has since branched out to finance, telecommunications, and technology. It is also home to a number of universities and educational institutions. Each year, numerous tourists are drawn to its many attractions.
These include various architectural wonders such as the Mid-Continent Tower, the BOK Tower, the COX Business Center, and other examples of modernist and brutalist structures. Other tourist attractions include the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, which houses the largest collection of Judaica in the Southwest. In addition, plenty of tourists flock to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium and the Golden Driller Statue. With so many tourist attractions drawing in so many people per year, a certain number of slips and falls are inevitable.
A slip and fall accident lawyer in Tulsa can help you in a number of different ways. Their assistance begins with your first consultation, which serves as an opportunity to ask questions, receive advice, and assess your unique situation. During this consultation, lawyers might tell you whether they think it is a good idea to move forward with a lawsuit. They might also help you determine what damages you have suffered and who you can sue. From there, it is up to you whether you would like to move forward.
If you choose to work with a Tulsa slip and fall lawyer, you can experience many forms of assistance, including:
- Guidance and advice
- Gathering evidence
- Gathering documents
- Questioning witnesses
- Reviewing store video footage
- Questioning property owners
- Reviewing store policy
- Helping you negotiate for a fair settlement
- Advising you on whether to accept certain settlement offers
- Filing documents with the court
- Appealing decisions
- Representing you during a trial if necessary
Note that slip and fall lawsuits rarely progress to the trial stage, and most are settled out of court before victims ever see the inside of a courtroom. Approximately 90% of all civil suits are settled in this manner, and it usually serves everyone’s best interests. Defendants may wish to avoid accepting fault in a public manner, as this may impact their business operations. Victims may wish to get their hands on compensation as quickly as possible to pay off medical expenses and address missing wages. Both parties may see the trial process as time-consuming, stressful, and unpredictable. If your slip and fall accident lawyer in Tulsa helps you handle negotiations in a professional, productive manner, you can pursue a fair settlement without going to court.
In other situations, however, trials are unavoidable. Parties may be completely unwilling to negotiate for whatever reason. Stubborn defendants and their insurers may refuse to provide adequate compensation, leading to impasses that cannot be resolved through discussions. However, even if negotiations break down, parties can opt for a settlement even while the trial is still underway. Many settlements are offered on the stairs leading to the courtroom floor at the last possible moment.
What Causes a Slip and Fall in Tulsa?
Some slips and falls are truly accidental, while others are caused by clear examples of negligence. Negligence is a legal concept that has four elements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
If all four elements are present, then you can accuse a negligent party of causing your slip and fall. This responsibility usually falls on the shoulders of property owners and their respective representatives. For example, a grocery store may have a duty of care to provide shoppers with a safe environment. They may breach this duty by allowing a carton of spilled milk to lie unaddressed in an aisle for over 30 minutes. This spill may cause a person to slip and fall, and this victim may suffer injuries as a result of this accident. Therefore, this theoretical grocery store owner’s negligence has led to the victim’s injuries.
There are many specific types of negligence that may lead to slips and falls. Here are a few examples:
- Liquid spills
- Building code violations
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Cracked walking surfaces
- Broken stairs
- Lack of handrails
- Dimly lit corridors and hallways
What Kind of Injuries Result From Slips and Falls?
Slips and falls can cause a wide range of injuries, including:
- Broken hips
- Wrist fractures
- Finger fractures
- Arm fractures
- Leg fractures
- Ankle fractures
- Wrist sprains
- Ankle sprains
- Knee injuries
- Head injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Rib fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Facial injuries
Falling forward: The exact nature of a victim’s injuries depends entirely on the manner in which they fell. For example, some victims may fall forward, prompting them to hold out their arms in an attempt to cushion their impact. This may cause their fingers to impact the floor at odd angles, causing these fragile bones to fracture. The wrist may also become fractured or sprained.
Falling sideways: If a victim falls sideways, they may impact their hips, shoulders, ribs, or all of the above. Hip fractures can be especially serious, as these injuries can rob a person of their mobility for many years (or even permanently). It is almost impossible to walk while a hip fracture heals, and victims may find themselves confined to hospital beds or wheelchairs for many months. Shoulder injuries and broken ribs can be just as painful and long-lasting.
Falling backward: If a victim falls backward, there is a serious risk of a head injury. Unlike a forward fall, it may be very difficult to place one’s hands out in a forward position to cushion impacts. With backward falls, victims must simply hope for the best while blindly aware of the floor rushing up to meet them. If a victim hits their head on a surface, they may suffer a range of head injuries – including brain damage, concussions, hematomas, TBIs, and much more.
What Kind of Damages Can I Claim in a Slip and Fall Case?
Your compensation depends on the damages you sustain due to your slip and fall accident. “Damages” are the losses you have sustained due to your injuries. These may include financial or psychological issues. Financial issues are called “economic damages,” while psychological issues are called “non-economic damages.” Both are eligible for compensation, and you should work with your slip and fall accident lawyer in Tulsa to determine exactly which damages apply to your specific case.
Here are some examples of non-economic damages:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Here are some examples of economic damages:
- Medical expenses
- Missed wages
- Funeral expenses
Note that the latter economic damage only applies to wrongful death lawsuits. In these lawsuits, family members sue on behalf of their deceased loved ones. Unfortunately, many slips and falls can indeed be fatal, especially when serious head injuries are involved. Slips and falls may also be fatal if victims end up falling long distances. For example, a victim might slip and fall out of a window or down a flight of stairs.
Who Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall?
As previously noted, you must establish that someone who owed you a “duty of care” was negligent in causing your slip and fall. So, who might this be? In most cases, it is a property owner or a business. Examples include:
- Grocery stores
- Hardware stores
- Toy stores
- Corner stores
- Barber shops
- Beauty parlors
- Liquor stores
These are only a few examples, and virtually any establishment can be held accountable for allowing slipping hazards to injure innocent people. In addition, a number of government locations may be held accountable for causing slips and falls. These might include:
- The Department of Motor Vehicles in Tulsa
- The passport office
- Community centers
- Police stations
- Public libraries
When suing a government agency, you may have to follow slightly different steps. It may be necessary to act quickly due to shorter time limits, so be sure to get in touch with your slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible if you have slipped and fallen on government property.
Negligent property owners, businesses, and government agencies may cause these hazards to exist due to a number of different actions and inactions. Often, it is these inactions that cause slips and falls, such as failing to clean up a spill. Other examples include:
- Failing to clear away snow or ice
- Failing to fix broken stairs
- Failing to sweep away debris
- Failing to install handrails
- Failing to replace light bulbs
A property owner must address these hazards as soon as they become aware of them. Little leeway is allowed when it comes to delaying action. For example, if a grocery store employee becomes aware of a spill, they must immediately clean up the spill themselves or delegate the task to someone else. Generally speaking, delays of more than 15 minutes become obvious signs of negligence, although the exact amount of time allowed is up to the court’s discretion on a case-by-case basis.
One option to quickly address hazards is to place a sign near the spill or debris. This sign should be clearly legible and easy to spot. Examples include the classic yellow “wet floor” sign that everyone is familiar with. Defendants may be able to escape liability with these signs, although it is always better to directly address the hazard instead of simply warning people about it.
What are Some Common Defenses to Slip and Fall Lawsuits?
One common defense to a slip and fall lawsuit is that the defendant was not aware of the hazard. If a defendant is not aware of the hazard, they can argue that they cannot be expected to address it. Another common defense is that they placed signage near the hazard. Defendants may also argue that there is no causational link between the hazard and the accident. For example, the spill might have been in aisle 4, while the fall might have been in aisle 5.
How Much Does it Cost to Work With a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer in Tulsa?
Personal injury lawyers are paid via contingency fees. This means that victims do not need to pay any money upfront. Instead, they only pay their lawyers when and if they win their cases. If they are successful, then victims pay these lawyers a pre-determined percentage of their settlement or award.
Where Can I Find a Sip and Fall Lawyer in Tulsa?
If you have suffered injuries after a slip and fall in Tulsa, time is of the essence. The state of limitations may prevent you from suing if you wait too long, so it is best to book a consultation with the McGuire Law Firm as soon as possible. During your first consultation, we can assess your unique situation, including the circumstances of your fall and the injuries you suffered. From there, we can help you get started with an effective action plan and guide you toward the compensation you deserve. Remember, internet research only gets you so far. Book your consultation to pursue justice.
Frequently Asked Questions for Tulsa Slip & Fall Attorneys:
What evidence can I gather after a slip and fall accident?
You will want to gather as much information from the scene of the accident as possible. You will want to take photographs of the area you fell that shows as much as possible, ask if you can get any security footage, and any witness statements and contact information.
How common are slip and fall accidents in Oklahoma?
According to the CDC in the year 2020, 29.6% of elder adults slipped and fell. The total number being 177,453. Slip and fall accidents are more common than you might suspect and could happen to anyone at any time.
Who is at fault if I am injured due to uneven sidewalk?
The city may be at fault for your injuries if you were injured due to uneven sidewalk.
Can I file a slip and fall claim against a government entity in Oklahoma?
You are still able to file a slip and fall claim against a government agency, but know there are more strict deadlines and other paperwork that must be filed out. In these instances it is imperative to hire a Tulsa slip and fall attorney to help ensure everything is filed properly and in a timely manner.
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence allows for you to get a percentage of compensation even if you were partially at fault for your injuries. In Oklahoma you must be under 49% at fault for the accident to receive compensation, but your compensation will be lowered by the percentage at fault you are found.
How can slip and fall accidents be prevented?
The best way to prevent yourself from being in a slip and fall accident is to be aware of your surroundings and to exercise caution. How property owners can help prevent these types of accidents include: keeping their walkways clear, maintaining their property, placing signs that can warn people of potential danger, remove as much clutter as possible, and ensuring no wires are uncovered.
Is there an age group that is more susceptible to slip and fall accidents?
Anyone is susceptible to being injured in a slip and fall accident. Seniors and older adults tend to be the victims of slip and fall accidents. They are also the age group that tend to see the most amount of injuries.
What are my options if I was injured at my friend’s house?
It can put you in a weird place with your friend if you are injured at their house. It is important to note that you are not suing your friend directly, you will be suing their insurance company.