Falling accidents aren’t just caused by spilled liquids or uneven flooring. Unexpectedly devastating injuries can disrupt your life when you reach for a rail that you expect to hold your weight but discover that it’s broken. If you were harmed when you fell due to a missing or broken railing, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your damages.
Where Railing Accidents Happen and How to Protect Yourself Legally
Decks, patios, staircases, and walkways all commonly feature railing as a safety feature. Injuries are bound to happen if those rails are defective, improperly installed, rotted from moisture, or entirely missing. These kinds of slip and fall accidents often take place at properties such as:
- Apartment buildings
- Home of a family member or acquaintance
- Private businesses like bars, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.
Where a broken railing slip and fall injury happens is important because it can impact how you approach your financial recovery. You might seek compensation through home owner’s insurance, for instance, if you were hurt due to a defective railing at a friend’s residence. In other situations, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against a business.
No matter where the fall happened, the specific actions to take after slipping remain roughly the same. Immediately after suffering harm in a slip and fall involving any sort of broken railing, you should be sure to:
- Pull out your phone and take photos or video of the scene before the property owner repairs the broken railing.
- Talk to any bystanders who witnessed the fall and gather their contact details in case they are needed later.
- Tell the property owner or on-shift manager about the accident.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible after the fall to establish documentation of your injury.
Injuries and Pursuing Compensation After a Broken Railing Slip and Fall
Getting medical help after the fall, even if you don’t feel any pain, is crucial for protecting your legal rights and physical wellbeing. Sprains, strains, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries may not show symptoms like pain directly after the fall. After slipping due to a broken rail, you could suffer:
- Back and neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Soft tissue (ligament, muscle, or tendon) injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Injuries associated with a slip and fall often necessitate recovering in a hospital or at home, which means you may be unable to earn a living. Your financial stability wouldn’t be at stake if the negligent party had upheld their basic duty of care. That negligence can make them liable for your damages if they were aware of the problem but didn’t take any steps to repair or replace the broken railing.
To prove the owner knew about the non-functional railing, or should have been reasonably expected to know about it, you will need to enlist legal assistance. That’s why it is so important to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney who is able to investigate the accident.
The person responsible for your injury could be the owner, an employee, a property manager, or even a construction or repair crew who didn’t properly install the railing. Whoever is specifically liable could owe you compensation for:
- Hospital and surgery bills after the fall, as well as other medical expenses such as physical therapy, adaptative equipment, medication, etc.
- Missed income if you couldn’t work while recovering. In some cases, lost earning capacity may also be a factor if you suffered a TBI or other injury that interferes with your ability to return to work.
- Non-economic damages for pain, suffering, and emotional anguish
- Various out-of-pocket costs while seeking treatment after a broken railing slip and fall accident.
These types of damages could be recovered through an insurance payout, a pre-trial settlement, or a court judgement if your personal injury case needs to go before a jury.
Find the Legal Help You Need if You Were Hurt in a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall
The first step towards financial recovery is to discuss your slip and fall accident with a qualified legal professional. Contact the Heslin Law Firm online here or call our Philadelphia office directly to schedule a consultation at 215-332-0300.