Slip and fall is a common mishap that may occur at any place at any time. Hence, you must follow all the safety measures to avoid getting hurt as such accidents may happen anywhere from the parking spaces to the footpaths, holiday rental properties, educational institutions or leisure parks to shopping complexes, or other such open places where you are vulnerable to unsafe conditions.
Many times people presume it is their mistake that they slipped off and fell. However, this is not always the scenario as business proprietors, property owners, and other workers may act careless in performing their duties. All these individuals play a crucial role in upkeep and repairs of their properties. Therefore, any negligent action on their part that can lead to slip and fall is considered as a premises liability. Since it is not the victim’s fault, the liable party must reimburse them.
Do you know that the majority of slip and fall accidents are preventable? Slip and fall accidents can be a pricey affair. Hence, they are referred to as a public health problem. While you can prevent slipping and falling in any circumstance, however, this requires that businesses and individuals follow guidelines to ensure their property is secure for use by clients, visitors, and workforce.
Let us look at some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents:
1. Wet and irregular surfaces
The most well known reason for slip and fall accidents worldwide is moist and irregular surfaces which cause more than half of all the reported slip and fall cases. Following associated incidents can prove to be hazardous-
- wobbly floorboards
- slack mats
- spoiled carpeting
- newly waxed or mopped surfaces
- Parking lot potholes
- malfunctioning sidewalks
- inadequately constructed staircases
- Cluttered Floors
- Moisture collection
It is important to ensure that the floor is tidy and repaired whenever you notice patchy or damp surfaces.
2. Weather conditions
Weather is a natural phenomenon that cannot be controlled which makes it another primary reason for slips and fall accidents in the world. You may get involved in different activities in the winter season but be careful. Even building proprietors are lawfully accountable for shoveling the sidewalks, plowing streets, and salting footpaths during this time.
3. Lack of knowledge and training
Lack of sufficient knowledge and guidance also leads to most slips and fall accidents in the construction business. Every employee and even the employers must undergo proper training to avoid slipping and falling while on duty. Everyone at the construction sites must be sufficiently educated on how to use different tools and equipment. Or else, the employer will be responsible for all the damages caused to the victim(s).
4. Loose cables and electrical wires
Loose electrical cords and wires often clasp the shoes or make the legs slip over that leads to slip and fall mishaps. Many pedestrians go through this on the roads while walking.
5. Nursing-home ignorance
Elderly and sick people who are admitted to hospitals are prone to slip and fall collapses, and become weak at balancing themselves. This can prove to be life threatening to them and deteriorate their present situation. Hence, the supervisors and nurses must check their movements within the building.
6. Wearing wrong footwear
Slips and falls are not just limited to women who put on high heels but anyone who wears improper footwear. You must wear shoes that provide sufficient grip to prevent yourself from getting hurt in such mishaps.
7. Broken railings
Handrails are used while moving up or down stairways and escalators to prevent injurious falls and these are normally supported by balusters or attached to walls. However, in case of damage or lack of handrails, people often fall prey to slip and fall mishaps. If you slip and fall in the absence of handrails, you are entitled to receive compensation.
8. Bad lighting
Poor lighting systems in buildings and pavements are another cause of slip and fall mishaps. Be it offices or other public properties, good lighting will enhance vision particularly for those using these spaces at night. Company owners or employers must ensure that pavements, footpaths, and stairways are well lit. Failure to install a proper lighting system creates challenges for those trying to navigate securely from one spot to another.
A land proprietor or supervisor can be held accountable for hazardous outdoor situations that comprise the following:
- Poor management at swimming pools or other such places with a high possibility of falls
- Inability to upkeep parking spaces in a protected way by mending cracks and preventing sharp altitude variations
- Failure to execute repairs to sustain footpaths and pavements making them secure, consistent and risk free for pedestrians
- Neglect on part of the owner to fill up troughs, trenches, and potholes or alert clients about the same
- Extreme buildup of snow caused by melting and refreezing, or by leaking pipes
- Careless or incompatible use of snow or ice removal services
- Insufficient outdoor lighting
You may be prone to dangerous property situations anywhere. However, it may seem easy to determine when a property owner is liable for a slip and fall mishap on their property, establishing neglect under premises liability law can be a challenging task.
Who can be held accountable?
In case of slip and fall accidents, the accused often consist of property owners, property management companies, and workers. If the mishap happened on a public property, then a municipal entity may be held accountable. Recognizing the responsible parties will assist your lawyer in presenting the strongest possible case to ensure that you receive maximum reimbursement for your trauma.
Dominique Wilson Williams is a competent and committed attorney who aims to deliver best services to clients through his experience and a history of successful negotiations in the courtroom. Contact us today to book a free consultation.