Language is important.
Do you remember the debate years ago about the need to tax the estates of people with wealth over a certain sum? The details are not important; rather, it is how the debate was won that matters. Estate taxes are something paid by only the very wealthy. So, 99% of the population, likely including you, doesn’t really care because it doesn’t apply to you.
But, when they began to call it a death tax, everyone cared, because everyone will one day die.
What does this have to do with someone who is hurt after a fall in a business or store? Language.
Some people call this type of case a “Slip & Fall.” In reality, it is a “Trip & Fall.” The difference is significant, even though the interchanging of similar-sounding words may not seem that way. Calling an injury a “slip and fall” is intended to make customers wrongly believe they are at fault.
Today, people shop in dollar stores more and more as such stores become more common and pop up in highly convenient locations. Oftentimes, these dollar stores place extra inventory in the shopping aisles, not in a storage room. And this is done by design. The perpetual existence of merchandise on the floor, and the management choice of having a limited number of employees, create an environment where someone TRIPPING over merchandise deliberately left on the floor is just a matter of time. Particularly when what people trip over was deliberately placed in the floor—or allowed to remain there—by the store management.
Trip and fall injuries can be severe and life-threatening, especially in the elderly population. Broken shoulders, fractured hips, and even head injuries can occur when customers trip over merchandise left in the floor. Healthcare statistics indicate more than 800,000 people are hospitalized from a fall injury each year, most often because of hip fracture or head trauma. Some 86% of hip fractures occur in individuals 65 years and older, and this same age demographic has a 14%-58% 1-year mortality rate after sustaining a fractured hip.
When you realize that the customer tripped over merchandise intentionally left in the floor as part of the store’s business model, it becomes clear who is at fault—and who should be responsible for the often irreparable harm caused.
If you have been injured as a result of tripping in a store or restaurant, or other places of business, the harm you have suffered may very well be the fault of the company that invited you into their place of business to make money from you, yet chose not to provide you with a safe place in which to conduct your shopping, dining or other buying activity.
At The Law Offices of Paul Ford, we take these cases very seriously and would be honored to help you hold the wrongdoers accountable for the harm they have caused.