A slip and fall accident is a fall that occurs when an individual loses traction or stumbles, causing a fall to the ground. When defining what a slip and fall accident is, note that it tends to involve an object or circumstance that led to the fall, such as a slippery floor or badly lit stairwell. Falls can occur on a single level, from one level to a lower level, or potentially down several levels, such as stairs.
Slip and fall accidents are a common source of injury in the United States. They can occur in public and private spaces, including driveways and sidewalks, parks, schools, places of business, offices, construction sites, nursing homes, and elsewhere.
Reasons Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
There are about as many causes of slip and fall accidents as there are places in which these accidents can occur. Examples of items and situations that may lead to a slip and fall include:
- Torn carpeting.
- Floor damage, such as potholes or cracked surfaces (Technically, these first two examples are likely to be “trip” and fall accidents, but since the investigation and prosecution of “slips” and “trips” are similar, we will discuss these trips along with slips in this article. Trip cases can actually present as very strong cases for reasons that are unique to the trip event, as distinguished from a slip. We invite you to call us to discuss these distinctions and how they pertain to your fall accident.)
- A lack of safety equipment, such as handrails in stairwells.
- Liquid spills.
- Tracked rain, snow, or ice in buildings.
- Uneven or unstable flooring.
- Changes in traction.
- Inappropriate footwear.
- Unclear signage regarding hazards.
- Cluttered floors.
- Poor lighting.
- A lack of worker training.
- Employers who do not adhere to safe workplace standards.
- Age or illnesses that can cause balance issues.
Slip and fall accidents are especially prevalent in nursing homes and on construction sites. Slips and falls are the leading cause of death for individuals aged 65 and above, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) calls these incidents one of the “fatal four” —one of the four leading causes of workplace deaths in the country.
A lack of adherence to OSHA safety standards is a common cause of workplace slip and fall deaths and injuries. We discuss this issue and issues pertaining to fault and liability for slip and fall accidents below.
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Possible Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can result in minor cuts and bruises in the best case scenarios and total physical incapacitation or death in the worst cases. Some of the more common slip and fall accident injuries include:
- Broken bones.
- Puncture wounds.
- Internal bleeding.
- Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Spinal cord and nerve damage.
- Partial or total paralysis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slip and falls are the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States after accidental poisoning and vehicle accidents.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
Liability for slip and fall accidents is based on how and where an accident occurred and whether the owner or operator of the property owed a duty of care to the victim. For example, businesses and the owners or operators of public property such as parks, schools, and commercial areas are required to keep their premises clear of slip and fall hazards. They must also conduct routine maintenance and repairs to prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring. Employers are required to provide safe work environments to their workers, as well.
A failure to do so can lead to liability for injuries and losses the victim suffers after a slip and fall accident that occurs on a given property. Any facility or property owner who does not take the proper precautions for visitors can all be held liable for a slip and fall accident should one occur. This might require using non-slip rugs or mats, replacing torn carpeting, installing handrails in places where slips and falls can occur, and addressing or removing other hazards on the premises.
Evidence for Slip and Fall Accidents
To prove a slip and fall accident, you or your attorney should try to obtain:
- Video or photographic evidence of the accident
- Medical treatment records of your injuries
- Maintenance or service logs for flooring or installations that needed repair
- An assessment from an economics expert regarding your lost income in cases where this type of report is indicated
- Estimates of any other losses or damages you suffered as a result of your slip and fall accident
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Contact Our Trip and Fall Lawyer Today
Please contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at (516) 932-0400 for assistance with a slip and fall accident case. We will explore what you should reasonably expect if you choose to start a slip and fall accident case: If you choose to give us the privilege of representing you, we will also: Keep you updated on your case.
- Identify liable parties.
- Communicate with all parties for you.
- Gather evidence.
- Determine a value for your case and fight to win the best possible outcome for you.
The statutes of limitations for personal injury claims—including slip and fall accident claims—vary from case to case. This and other time deadlines related to claims and lawsuits are important reasons to consult with an experienced and dedicated lawyer promptly after your injury. Another important consideration is that gathering evidence, such as witness statements and video surveillance footage, is best done as close in time to the accident as possible. Simply stated, the sooner you contact us the greater our opportunity to protect your rights and build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Please do not hesitate to contact our team for a free consultation so we can initiate legal proceedings on your behalf if your case warrants a claim.
Our multilingual staff serves the residents of Jericho, New York, and the greater New York City area. Call now for help with a slip and fall accident claim.