Although the phrase “slip and fall” does not sound that serious, this type of accident can definitely cause severe or chronic injuries. A slip and fall may result in lost wages, extreme medical bills, or the need to claim disability for the rest of your life.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and falls are responsible for 5% of all work-related deaths for women and 11% of deaths for men. Slip and fall accidents are among the most common personal injury claims, and these types of accidents are often caused by easily avoidable incidents.
The fact that wet floors are such a prevalent cause of slip and fall accidents is especially tragic because these types of incidents are perhaps the most easily preventable. Wet floors can result from leaking equipment, accidental spills, or food contamination. The CDC cites the following as common causes of wet floor slip and fall accidents:
- Water and grease spills
- Kitchen and cafeteria machines
- Soap containers
- Drinking fountains
- Entry and exit doors of buildings
Another very common cause of slip and fall accidents is uneven surfaces. These surfaces can occur in the workplace or on property that you are visiting. Even if you are carefully paying attention to what you are doing and where you are walking, it can be easy for you to have a slip and fall accident due to an uneven walking surface. Common accidents involving uneven surfaces include:
- Loose flooring
- Damaged stairs
- Mats laid improperly
- Old carpeting
- Damaged sidewalks or parking lots
Poor Weather Conditions
The weather can often result in unpredictable situations that make slip or fall accidents very likely. Conditions such as rain, snow, flooding, and fallen limbs after a storm can make the walkways hazardous.
Even though the weather can be unpredictable, the property owners have a legal responsibility to make sure that their floors and walkways remain safe. They have a legal obligation to plow, shovel, clean and salt any walkways or entrances that may cause you to slip and fall. Failure to meet these obligations may open them up to a lawsuit.
Frequently, environmental conditions that you work in can be the cause of slip and fall incidents. OSHA cites slips, trips, and falls in the workplace as being a major contributor to workplace accidents, but visitors to a property can also find themselves tripping and falling due to a property’s environment. Trash on the floor, insufficient lighting, cords left lying on the floor, and open cabinets or drawers contribute to the environmental reasons for slip and fall accidents.
One of the most preventable types of slip and fall accidents occur in medical settings. Often, patients in nursing homes or hospitals have difficulty standing on their own. They may also have trouble maintaining balance without assistance.
Many of these patients are elderly, and they will account for part of the three million elderly adults who will be treated by an emergency department for a fall. These types of slip and falls can be devastating, as they often result in broken bones or fractures that may make the nursing home or hospital stay even worse.
Seeking Legal Help for a Slip and Fall Accident
You have a limited amount of time to file a slip and fall case before you forfeit your right to file a claim. The statute of limitations is different in every state, but it is often a period of two years. You are able to file one, two, or even three years after your accident because the courts understand that it may take time for your full injuries and damages to be known, source https://baderscott.com/atlanta-personal-injury-lawyer/.
Although slip and fall accidents often occur due to the actions of a property owner or employer, they will often try to argue that the victim was the person at fault. In order to demonstrate their liability in court, you will want to have an experienced attorney.