Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and fall accidents are responsible for the majority of brain injuries and hip accidents, and over one million people every year go to the emergency room after experiencing a slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and the cause of 50% of in-home fatalities.
The circumstances in which many slip and falls occur are often avoidable and tend to have elements in common. For example, according to NFSI, 2 million falls every year are contributed to unsafe floors and flooring material.
Here are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents:
- Wet and/or uneven surfaces: These are responsible for approximately half of all slip and fall accidents, and generally occur when a person walks over loose floorboards, clutter, potholes, defective sidewalks, torn carpeting, poor construction, recently cleaned or treated floors, water on the floor, or unsecured floor mats.
- Adverse weather conditions: This can include severe weather like storms and blizzards, as well as more common weather conditions such as rain, freezing rain, snow, and ice. Improperly or insufficiently treated roadways or pathways that should have been shoveled are also responsible for many slip and falls.
- Improper training: One of the most common places where slip and fall accidents occur is in construction sites by construction workers. This can be due to unsafe working conditions, as well as improper or insufficient training. Construction workers are often already doing work with inherent risks associated, and training should include how to handle adverse conditions in addition to these risks to avoid slipping and falling.
- Nursing home neglect: Slip and falls are very common in nursing homes, hospitals, and other care facilities. Elderly people are already at increased risk of falls primarily due to a loss of balance that happens as people age. If a nursing home fails to provide proper safeguards to protect their residents from slipping and falling, they could be held liable for damages.
- Footwear: Many slip and falls occur due to footwear that offers poor traction. If you work or live in a location where the floors or safety conditions are not ideal, it’s important to purchase and consistently wear slip-proof shoes. In fact, many employers require their workers to wear approved non-slip shoes while on the job.
The person liable for a slip and fall accident is generally the person or company who owed the injured party a duty of care.
A “duty of care” is a legal expression used to refer to someone’s legal duty to perform in a responsible and reasonable manner. This means the proprietor of a business, property owner, or employer is responsible for providing sufficiently safe conditions for visitors and workers on their premises. When a person is injured in a slip and fall, the entity who owes that person a duty of may be responsible for damages.
One of the most difficult parts of filing a slip and fall claim is proving the at-fault party’s negligence.
This can be a difficult accomplishment, but necessary for proving a slip and fall claim. This is why it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel before filing. In order to file a successful claim, the injured party must be able to prove that the at-fault party behaved negligently, usually in one of the following ways: the liable party created the hazard that resulted in the slip and fall; the liable party knew about the hazard and failed to repair it; and/or the liable party should have reasonably recognized the hazard but failed to do so. If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident, seek legal counsel to learn more about your rights and what compensation you may be eligible for.