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Slip and Fall Accidents


Why Do You Need a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer?

A slip and fall accident describes an injury that a person suffers on someone else’s property. A visitor or guest may slip, trip, or fall because of a hazard they weren’t warned about. An experienced slip and fall accident lawyer can help you recover the costs of the injury.

Slip and fall accidents are not trivial injuries. In fact, they are a leading cause of brain injury in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

As a firm dedicated to effectively litigating traumatic brain injurys, the slip and fall accident lawyers at The Smith Law Center are deeply informed about how these injuries can impact a person’s life. Brain, neck, and spinal cord injuries can permanently change a person’s prospects and their ability to provide for their family. Our attorneys are available to evaluate the specifics surrounding your situation and provide a free consultation regarding your legal options.

If you or someone you know was hurt in a slip, trip, or fall accident on someone else’s property, contacting a slip and fall accident lawyer can be the first step to a brighter future. To receive a complimentary case review from our Virginia-based attorneys, contact The Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000.

For more information on the common causes and legal elements of a slip and fall case, read on.

A wet floor hazard sign and mop stand in the hallway of a nursing home while an employee cleans the room.

What Are the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries?

The most common causes of slip and fall injuries are:

  • Wet floors: Grocery aisle spills, slippery restroom or gym tiles, or icy conditions outside on unshoveled walkways or unsalted roads with hidden patches of “black ice”
  • Uneven terrain: Unkept yards with tripping hazards, misaligned or broken pavements, torn carpets, or workplaces littered with loose tools or other occupational hazards
  • Stair, steps, and ladders: Unsafe, unstable, or poorly designed steps
  • Insufficient lighting: Dark alleys, hallways, or parking lots
  • Lack of safety support: Broken or absent handrails, untextured steps or ramps, lack of warning signs erected for temporary hazards

Slip and fall accidents often occur in homes, stores, and other everyday locations. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognize the serious consequences of falls at work, in public spaces, and at home. A skilled attorney can help ensure that you are fully compensated for the true cost of a slip and fall injury.

There is no such thing as a “simple” fall. Any slip or trip could cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) (TBI) that requires a lifetime of care. Your injury deserves compensation.

What Are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Case?

The elements your attorney must prove to achieve compensation in a slip and fall case are known as the four Ds of negligence:

  1. Duty of care: An individual or company had an obligation to provide you with a safe environment.
  2. Dereliction (breach) of duty: The other party failed to provide a safe place, or to warn you about known dangers.
  3. Direct causal link: Their safety failures caused your injury.
  4. Damages: The injuries cost you in time, money, stress, and other losses.

The damages in a slip and fall accident settlement or verdict could help cover:

  • Medical bills and ongoing healthcare costs
  • Lost wages or an inability to earn future wages
  • Pain and suffering — both physical and psychological
  • Wrongful death damages after a fatal accident to help account for both financial and the emotional losses

In the following video, firm founder Stephen Smith shares how he has helped brain injury victims obtain record-breaking settlements.

Why Are Slip and Fall Cases Hard to Win?

The challenges unique to slip and fall injury cases have to do with liability, aka who is responsible. Slip and fall accidents are a type of personal injury case in the broad category of premises liability.

While you can do your best to safety-proof your own home, public locations like retail stores, or residential areas like apartment complexes and nursing homes owe a duty of care to you and others on the premises. If you slip and fall due to a lack of maintenance or precaution, the property owner may be held liable for the cost of those preventable injuries.

A large percentage of slip and fall injuries could have been easily prevented by simple property maintenance. It is your attorney’s job to show that your slip and fall accident was the result of unsafe conditions, not to the “user error” of the individual who slipped or fell over a clear hazard that should not have been there in the first place.

Examples of a property manager or owner’s failure to maintain an area or warn about safety risks include:

  • A spill in a grocery store aisle that the store’s employees/manager fails to promptly clean up or warn patrons with a “wet floor” sign
  • Faulty equipment around an apartment complex like broken stairs, ramps, railings, or lighting.
  • Loose debris in a workplace or job site that isn’t cleared after one shift, creating hazards for the next.

The work of proving a slip and fall injury claim is your attorney’s job, not yours. Contact the experienced legal professionals at The Smith Law Center by calling (757) 244-7000, and empower us to begin building your case right away.

Testimonial: “Mr. Smith did everything he promised and more. He comforted me when I was worried, and fought hard for me. He was my friend. I have already recommended a co-worker to The Smith Law Center and will speak very highly of your firm when asked about my case for years to come. Mr. Smith is truly an asset to your firm, as he is a terrific person and attorney. Thanks for excellent representation.” – Joe

Contact Experienced Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Slip and fall accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to a person’s brain, spine, and orthopedic mobility. Individuals over 65 are particularly susceptible to fatal injuries from a slip and fall accident. A lawsuit is one of the most effective options available to individuals who need financial support to recover after suffering a negligent injury.

The Smith Law Center’s notable slip and fall case results include a $12 million+ jury verdict, the largest slip and fall verdict in Virginia history at the time. Also a half-million result for a client who suffered a mild head injury in a slip and fall accident inside a Home Depot.

Contact our attorneys at (757) 244-7000 as soon as you’re able — we have the skills and proven experience to fully investigate your circumstances, and build a case for the maximum recovery amount available. The funds awarded in a slip and fall accident case could improve your healthcare options, secure your family’s financial stability, and improve safety standards that could help save the lives of others.

Slip and Fall FAQs

What are the most common slip and fall injuries?

The impact of a slip and fall accident could lead to broken bones, hip injuries, shoulder and knee dislocations, herniated discs and other spinal cord injuries, or a traumatic brain injury like a concussion.

These injuries could permanently harm a person’s cognitive abilities, mobility (full or partial paralysis), mental health, and quality of life.

Where do most slip and fall injuries occur?

Slip and fall injuries can happen anywhere, but most preventable falls occur in average public places like:

  • Community swimming pools
  • Restaurants
  • Malls, gas stations, and retail stores
  • Gyms and workout facilities
  • Entertainment venues and theaters
  • Sidewalks, entryways, hallways, ramps, and stairwells
  • Parking lots and structures
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Apartment complexes and gated communities

Our slip and fall lawyers will assess the details of your situation, help secure any relevant evidence, and build a case that illustrates the property owner’s negligence for settlement negotiations or trial.

Who can be held liable for my slip and fall injury?

Liability in a slip and fall accident will largely depend on where it takes place. It may be an individual person, such as a property manager, or the business as a whole. More than one party might be responsible, based on the circumstances.

Examples of liable parties in a slip and fall accident can include:

  • Management companies, builders, and inspectors
  • Business owners and retailers
  • Hotels and property owners
  • Homeowners
  • Government agencies – such as for failing to warn of a pothole or fix a raised sidewalk

A slip and fall accident lawyer will be able to determine which parties can be held liable for your injuries.

How long after a slip and fall accident can you sue?

The time limit for suing after a slip and fall accident will vary based on the state you live in. This is known as a “statute of limitations.” In Virginia, where The Smith Law Center is headquartered, the time frame for filing a slip and fall lawsuit is typically two years after the date of injury.

One of the key benefits of hiring a slip and fall accident lawyer is that your attorney will ensure you meet all filing deadlines for your case, including the statute of limitations. Contact our offices at ​​(757) 244-7000 — let us handle the legal matters so that you and your family can recover in peace.

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Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

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IF WE DON’T WIN, YOU DON’T PAY

There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.
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