Every year, as many as a million people visit a hospital’s emergency room after sustaining injuries in slip and fall accidents. The injuries that are caused by these types of accidents vary widely, from minor bruises to broken bones to traumatic brain injuries. Many slip and fall injuries are completely preventable, and are therefore grounds for personal injury claims.
The following are the five most common types of slip and fall accidents.
Wet or Uneven Floor Surfaces
The number one cause of slip and fall accidents is wet or uneven floor surfaces – they make up over half of the slip and fall accidents in the U.S. each year. These types of slip and fall accidents can occur just about anywhere (domestic, commercial, industrial, and public areas), and are often hazardous when the following conditions are present:
- Cluttered floors or walkways
- Loose or shifting floorboards
- Potholes in parking lots
- Uneven or broken sidewalks
- Torn carpet or rugs
- Poorly constructed or poorly maintained staircases
- Loose floor mats or throw rugs
- Newly waxed floors
- Recently mopped floors
Property owners should always be aware if any of these situations are present, and should work to remedy them as quickly as possible. If an issue such as those above is identified, but cannot immediately be corrected then there should be proper signage to warn visitors of the danger.
Adverse Weather Conditions
Many slip and fall accidents are caused by adverse weather conditions, like rain, snow, and ice. While the weather is uncontrollable, engaging in winter safety procedures is completely within the control of property owners and should be done for the protection of employees, patrons, and visitors. Property owners have a legal duty to keep their sidewalks in safe conditions. When they don’t do so, and a slip and fall accident occurs, they could be held responsible for the victim’s injuries.
Nursing Home Neglect
Unfortunately, improper care in nursing homes also makes the list of most common slip and fall accident causes. The elderly population, in general, suffers more falls than any other demographic. As seniors often have a decreased sense of balance, they are more at risk for falls. Additionally, because many elderly people are not in the best shape physically, their risks of falls being much more serious, or even life-threatening, are also significantly higher. With those types of statistics, it is unreasonable that many nursing home administrators and staff do not adequately assist and monitor residents to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Nearly a quarter of all slip and fall accidents are caused by improper footwear, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. And, it isn’t just those individuals who are wearing five-inch heels and walking on icy sidewalks who are at risk. It’s also those wearing sneakers and work boots who suffer slip and falls. The biggest risk is encountered when shoes don’t offer the right amount and type of traction. Slip and fall accidents due to improper footwear happen at work, home, and in public places.
Improper or Insufficient Training
Many slip and fall accidents occur in the workplace, especially in the construction industry, due to improper training. These types of falls are easily preventable. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a fact sheet to show just how easy it is to prevent slip and fall accidents in the workplace. The number of falls that occur demonstrate that there is insufficient training – something that is key for every employee in high risk industries. Additionally, every job should be properly planned, and employees should be provided with tools they need to stay safe. If these things are not accomplished, employers or contractors could be held responsible for the damages caused by injuries.
As you can see by the above list, most slip and fall accidents are preventable when the proper care and attention are exercised. For property owners and employers, being careful and paying attention are not nearly as costly as paying potential damages when someone suffers a slip and fall accident on their property.
If You Are a Victim of a Slip and Fall Accident
If you or your loved one have fallen victim to one of the above types of slip and fall accidents, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the damages you sustained. Working with an experienced slip and fall attorney, like Rand Spear, will provide you with the best chances of a favorable outcome in a slip and fall accident lawsuit.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved. This article is not to be considered advise, only the execution of the contingency agreement with this law firm will constitute an attorney client relationship. The contents of this article are for general information only. If you would like to pursue a claim please contact an attorney immediately to discuss your specific facts and circumstances regarding your claim. Some cases accepted by this law firm may be referred to or worked on by other lawyers, depending on the area of practice and specifics of a particular case.