How common are slip and fall accidents?
Slip, trip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of injury in USA. They can happen at any place or at any time. The consequences of any slip and fall accident can vary from minor bruises to spine injuries and can also be fatal. Based on data from Insurance Information Institute, almost 3 million falls occur each year, which includesaround 14,000 fatalities. If you have fell victim to a slip and fall injury and are looking to file a claim, it is very important to have a full understanding of who is liable for the poorly maintained area that caused your injury.
What are the common causes of slip and fall accidents?
Slip and fall injuries mainly occur when there is insufficient friction between the bottom of your shoe and any oily, greasy, icy, muddy, or otherwise slick surface. The injuries due to such a fall include sprains, fractures, head and brain injuries, spine injuries, dislocation, or leg injuries. Some common examples of these accidents include:
- Apartment Complexes – Slip and fall occurring in common areas such as the lobby, hallway,or inside the apartment due to hazards, loose floorboards, or slippery surfaces.
- Malls and Shopping Centers – Fall caused by spilled food or drinks on the floor, malfunctioning of the escalators, uneven flooring, or poor lighting.
- Nursing Homes – Elderly people are frail and vulnerable to falls. They can be victims of serious or life-threatening injuries such as fractures, wounds, and concussion due to hazards in nursing home facility or negligence of staff.
- Office Buildings – Injuries resulting from slippery stairs or flooring, broken tiles, wet floor, uneven pavements in parking lots, loose floorboards, loose mats, stray cords and electrical wires.
- Public Roads and Parking Lots -Potential hazards such as irregular flooring, potholes, defective sidewalks, dangerous obstacles, or negligence in maintaining road condition.
- Stairs: Fall occurring on stairs due to poor maintenance, inadequate lighting, loose railing, uneven steps, or worn-out carpeting.
What is the Premises Liability Law and Duty of Care?
Slip, trip and fall accidents are categorized under negligence law also known as premises liability law. This law holds property owners responsible for maintaining the safety of their premises. All property owners need to take steps to prevent the risk of slip and falls, such as but not limited to:
- Well-lit property areas including all hallways, lobby, stairs, parking lots and service areas.
- Removal of any hazards or obstacles that can potentially cause falls.
- Maintenance of property including the removal of any defects,potholes, railing, cracks, uneven surfaces.
- Laying down tight carpeting and replacing any worn-out carpeting.
- Clearly marking any changes in floor levels, obstacles, uneven flooring and stairs.
- Clearing snow and ice from parking lots and loading areas.
The duty of care means that it is the obligation of property owners and managers to maintain their property in reasonably safe conditions for any person legally on the premises such as residents, guests, patrons, and customers. You can claim compensation from the concerned 3rd party if slip and fall have occurred due to inadequate safety.
How can you prove liability in any trip, slip, and fall accidents?
You can claim for compensation for medical expenses, wage loss, home modifications to accommodate disability, punitive damages or pain and suffering by proving negligence on the part of the property owner. You need to provide the following information to establish the defendant’s fault.
- What are the causes of the accident and if the victim could have prevented it?
- What is the duty of the property owner and how has the breach in the duty of care whether intentional or unintentional caused dangerous conditions for the accident?
- Was the property owner aware of the danger but failed to take any action?
- What are the injuries and monetary damages caused by the accident?
If you were injured at someone’s property, you can hire a personal injury attorney to represent you to receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.