A slip and fall accident can happen at any time, in any place, and for any reason, but the result is always painful, sometimes even fatal. They account for over one million hospital visits a year, represent the leading cause of lost time from work, and cost employers nearly 70 billion dollars annually.
A person that has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident usually has a legal claim, primarily if the reason for the injury was due to negligence on the part of the owner, despite having “constructive knowledge” of the issue. If that’s the case, it is best to get in contact with an attorney to go over and understand your rights.
Though slip and fall accidents seem relatively straightforward, they can occur in a variety of different ways. Below are some of the most common situations in which they can occur.
1. Damaged Floors: Many times, slip-and-falls come about as a result of floor coverings that have been pulled or rolled upon themselves, are damaged, or are not fully secured to the floor. Furthermore, floors that are in a state of disrepair or construction create a trip hazard that can be hazardous to your health. Especially when walking on stairs, be careful not to brace yourself against a handrail that is loose or damaged as well.
2. Flooring Materials that are Slippery: A floor that is over-polished or with an incorrect shine can betray a trip hazard that could be damaging. Alternatively, certain types of flooring are slippery in of themselves, such as specific types of stone, ceramics, wet concrete, hardened glass, hardwood floors, linoleum, and substances like these. When approaching these types of floors, look for warning signs or handrails to brace yourself on, especially if you are on crutches or using a walker. If you do hurt yourself on one of these floors, it may be the builder that is at fault instead of the property owner.
3. Landscaping: Outdoor surfaces that appear to be safe can sometimes be laden with hazards that are unseen, specifically grass that is wet from a recent rain or sprinkler system. If a sidewalk is near a gravel parking lot, the debris can be spread across the concrete to create a similar slippery surface; loose sand and mulch pose very similar types of hazards. It is contingent on the property owner to make sure that landscaping tools are picked up and that all work is finished (or at least marked as hazardous), so as not to harm unsuspecting visitors. Tools, uneven surfaces, and holes in the ground can all pose significant threats to public safety if left unattended.
4. Potholes and Ditches: Potholes in parking lots can cause significant damage to your car, and it can be difficult to form a legitimate case against the local government or property owner to collect damages. If you are physically harmed due to a ditch or pothole, you may have a case against the property owner on the grounds of negligence and failure to provide adequate warning of danger. In these situations, it’s best to document the injury, the offending hole, and speak to an attorney about options. If you see a pothole, you can report it to the proper departments to be fixed.
This article is provided as a reference for slip and fall accident causes, our slip and fall lawyers are available for a free, no obligation consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident. Contact us today.