There are many dangers of falling on someone’s property, like when there is a wet floor or loose wire. Partial falls are common on construction sites and areas where there are two floors. Many people have never heard of partial falls. One example is falling into a hole in the floor where your leg gets stuck. While you do not fall completely through, you can lose your balance and get stuck. Partial falls are perilous for victims and can lead to severe injuries. While they might not seem as dangerous as a complete fall, they are.
There have been countless incidents of construction workers partially falling between floors and suffering severe injuries. Construction zones also have heavy machinery and equipment, and if there is an unmarked hole behind a driver of one of these vehicles, they can fall into a ditch, causing injury. Workers who experience partial falls can file a workers’ compensation claim, which is typically simple. However, as a guest or visitor on a property, you do not have the same legal options.
Examples of partial fall accidents
A hole in the floor that does not have a guardrail up can lead to a person falling through it with only one leg. Property owners must cover these holes and section off the area. Some simply place a flimsy board over the hole and hope for the best. People are not looking down at the floor, and they may not see the board on the ground and walk on top of it without realizing there is danger present.
Another example is where construction or other repairs is happening by multiple groups. One group leaves an opening on the floor, and another crew is unaware of the hole. Suppose a painter takes a step back as he is working on the ceiling. That step backward results in his foot and leg falling through the hole, but the rest of his body stays at ground level.
Staircases can also lead to partial falls. Uneven stairs can cause someone to misstep, causing them to fall while they hold onto the railing. Conversely, wooden staircases are very dangerous because the wood can easily break if there is too much weight or wear and tear.
Should I file a personal injury lawsuit for a partial fall?
If the partial fall happens at a grocery store or private property, you have the option to file a Lancaster premises liability claim against the property owner. You will need to prove you had permission to be on the premises and that the property owner was negligent in their actions, resulting in your injuries. Proving negligence requires an investigation into the property owners’ safety practices.
Property managers must walk the store periodically to look for and address dangerous conditions. They must stay vigilant for known hazards and the possibility of items falling on a person, and if there is a hazard present, they must block off the area until the situation is resolved. A hole in the ground is a cause for concern, and the property owner must immediately place signage around the hole and look for a temporary covering. They will also need to call a repair company or another party that can resolve the issue.
Can I claim workers’ compensation for a partial fall?
Workers’ compensation claims work slightly differently than a premises liability case. Workers’ compensation does not require the injured worker to prove the construction company or employer was negligent in their actions to cause an accident. Construction workers are in constant danger when working between floors; construction companies must take all safety precautions. The painter falling through a hole is a prime example of construction crews not working in conjunction with other crews.
Damages for partial falls in Lancaster, PA
Injuries can require months of therapy and medical treatment. These bills can get costly, and you need to ensure you have the financial foundation to pay for your losses. When you file a claim with the help of a Lancaster personal injury lawyer, you can recover damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- And more
Property owners and employers must ensure that all hazards are taken care of or, at a minimum, blocked off. When they are negligent in these actions, it can lead to partial or complete falls. Since partial falls are not often discussed, victims do not realize they have legal options. A partial fall resulting in an injury means you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What should PA businesses do to prevent partial falls?
Property owners can prevent injuries and accidents if they do as they should. If you are on someone’s property, the owner must place guardrails around any open hole in the ground. Toeboards can also help prevent partial falls. Any holes, whether temporary or permanent, must be blocked off with adequate warnings to ensure no one suffers an injury. If a property owner does not warn of a hazard, they can suffer liability for medical bills and other expenses the injured person incurs. Remember, if there are no adequate warnings and the area is blocked off, the property owner can be held liable in a Lancaster premises liability claim.
Since the legal repercussions are a bit complex with these cases, you must speak with a Lancaster premises liability lawyer from KBG Injury Law. Call our office at 717-848-3838, or submit our contact form today. We have additional offices in York, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.