A new study by Johns Hopkins University has discovered that slips and falls are the top cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the United States, overtaking car crashes as the leading cause. The study determined that 41.5 percent of spinal cord injuries were caused by slips and falls over the three-year study duration.
When property owners become neglectful, they can unknowingly create a dangerous situation. “Slip and fall” accidents can happen anywhere. Falls that occur inside could be the result of bad flooring, wet walkways, poorly lit steps, or hidden defects. Icy patches, cracks in the sidewalk, weather-related conditions, and potholes are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents outdoors.
Fortunately, falls often result in minor injuries that heal quickly. However, slip and fall accidents have caused severe, debilitating problems, including head, brain, and spinal cord injury, herniated disc, bone fractures or breaks, and sprains. The neck, shoulder, and knee are also major areas prone to injury during a fall.
Property owners with dangerous conditions on their premises may be liable for accidents if they are aware of the conditions and take no action to fix them. The most common conditions attributed to owner negligence include:
After rejecting an initial offer of $100,000.00, a $6.25 million settlement was recently awarded to a young father. His case involved allegations of inadequate security at a restaurant where he was shot at in 2007. As a result of the shooting, the plaintiff was permanently paralyzed below the waist.
While at a restaurant in the early hours of June 4, 2007, the plaintiff was robbed and shot by local gang members. Due to past criminal activity at the location, the police department had requested that the restaurant hire off-duty police officers to provide security while the only security around that night was unarmed. The Plaintiff had an expert testify that the security provided was grossly inadequate. While the jury deliberated, both the franchisee and the security company agreed to settle the Plaintiff’s claims.
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A teenager was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down after an epidural anesthetic was left in her spine for too long. The young woman was 14 years old when she went in for a routine operation to remove gallstones.
During the patient’s hospital stay, the hospital staff had been told that the numbness had spread to both her legs and she was unable to move her feet. The anesthetic was not removed until 48 hours after the patient’s operation, by which time it had entered the girl’s spinal cord and damaged the membrane.
The girl’s attorney said that the hospital’s full admission of liability now paves the way for a settlement of this medical malpractice claim that will provide the girl with the financial support she will need to pay for specialist care and equipment for the rest of her life.