Everyone has experienced an embarrassing trip, often with little more than wounded dignity, but a sudden, serious fall is startling and painful. Many slip-and-fall accidents result in serious injuries, with over 800,000 fall-related injuries treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. each year. While elderly citizens are at the greatest risk of falls and fall-related injuries, slip-and-fall accidents can happen at any age, especially when a business manager or property owner doesn’t take reasonable measures to prevent risks by addressing a known fall hazard in a timely manner.
A slip-and-fall accident resulting in serious injury causes significant disruption to the victim’s life, often requiring expensive medical treatment and costly time away from work. In the worst cases, a serious fall can result in catastrophic injury with life-altering consequences.
Avoiding a slip-and-fall injury and subsequent premises liability case isn’t always possible, since by its very nature, this type of accident is unexpected and often due to someone else’s negligence. However, understanding the common places and causes of falls can help minimize your individual risk of injuries.
Where do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Commonly Occur?
A fall at home due to your own cluttered floor or underfoot pets is an unfortunate occurrence with no legal recourse, but when you’re in a public setting at a commercial or government business, the property owners and managers have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries by promptly addressing any known hazards. These preventable slip-and-fall incidents commonly occur in the following places:
- Parking lots or parking garages
- Public pools
- Public restrooms
- Hotels and resorts
- Stores and shops
- Restaurants and cafes
- Sporting event facilities
- Hospitals and medical facilities
Places with a higher than-typical likelihood of wet or cluttered floors or inadequate lighting increase the risks of slip-and-fall injuries. Owners of these types of premises have a duty to regularly check for preventable fall risks and promptly address them to prevent injuries to others legally on the property.
What are the Most Common Causes of Slip-and-fall Injuries?
When something unexpectedly breaks an individual’s normal stride, the result can be a sudden slip, trip, and fall, sometimes resulting in serious injuries from the jarring impact with the floor, ground, and obstacles. The most common causes of preventable slip-and-fall injuries include:
- Uneven ground surfaces
- Wet floors from mopping, spills, melted snow, or leaks
- Debris or clutter on the ground or floor
- Unmarked floor-level changes (step-ups or step-downs)
- Loose or cracked floorboards
- Loose carpets or mats
- Dangling electrical cords or charging wires
- Inadequate lighting
- Loose handrails
- Slippery floors due to improper cleaning products
- Broken or missing steps or stair risers
No one anticipates a sudden serious fall, but when one happens due to someone else’s negligence, it’s especially distressing. Falls in public places are embarrassing as well as painful, but when an irresponsible action or an overlooked hazard causes the injury it’s important to remain clear-headed and take steps to protect yourself, like snapping photos of the hazard that caused your fall and asking the business or property owner to write out an accident report. Collecting the contact information of eyewitnesses to the fall is also helpful for recovering damages later.
Slip-and-fall accidents cause an undue financial burden as well as physical pain. It’s important to speak to a Las Vegas slip and attorney about recovering compensation for damages after a preventable fall.