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A 'bump on the bottom' can cause more damage than you'd think

Almost everyone has watched "America's Funniest Videos" or seen a blooper reel. We are all guilty of laughing at another's misfortune when they are walking up a stairs and miss a step, stand on something less than stable or do something else that causes them to take a tumble. While these accidents may seem funny on television, they really aren't a laughing matter.

What television doesn't show you is the after-effects of these slip and fall accidents. Having your feet slide out from under you and falling on your bottom unexpectedly can cause a lot more damage than you'd think. Take for example one woman who slipped in a restaurant parking lot nearly one year ago but whose life is still being affected by that fall.

After the accident, the woman sought medical treatment for the fall. Since the accident, she continues rehabilitation treatment for the injuries. The woman worked as a computer analyst, but after the accident, sitting in a cubicle for extended periods of time just wasn't possible. She couldn't return to work full-time and the financial burden of the lost income on top of the increased medical bills became too much for her to handle.

The woman just couldn't continue life as it was and so she filed a slip-and-fall lawsuit in order to seek compensation simply to make ends meet. It was determined that the parking lot in which she had fallen was not adequately lit and the restaurant had failed to remove the buildup of ice in the parking lot. The restaurant owners couldn't have prevented the winter weather, but it was this failure to maintain the premises that made the restaurant liable.

The effects of winter weather aren't the only thing that is considered a hazard on property. Uneven sidewalks, poorly maintained common areas, sills that aren't cleaned up or even clean but slippery floors that aren't warned about can be considered a danger to guests.

Source: The Legal Examiner, "Slip and Fall Accidents Increase During the Holiday Season," Mark Bello, Dec. 4, 2012

Our Bergen County Premises Liability page provides more information about accidents that occur on someone else's property.

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