Danger and Liability of Slip and Fall Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento slip and fall lawyer. Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time and are a leading cause of visits to the emergency room. According to the National Floor and Safety Institute, more than one million people have to pay a visit to the emergency room each year due to a slip and fall.
The Most Common Reasons for a Slip and Fall
Slips and falls may happen at a business location such as a grocery store, at an event outdoors or on city, county, state or federal property. Not just shoppers or visitors are badly hurt, employees can also suffer serious injuries. The following are some of the most common culprits in an indoor slip and fall, including some listed by the Mayo Clinic.
- Spills of liquids or other substances on the floor
- Broken or poorly maintained stairways, treads, and handrails
- Torn or bunched carpeting
- Badly placed electrical cords or wiring
- Poor lighting
- Lack of signage that a floor is wet or danger exists
- Overwaxed or uneven waxing of a flooring surface
- Failure to place safety mats in areas where they are needed such as near produce in a grocery store or at the front door in inclement weather
- Leaks from water pipes such as in a public restroom
- Wet surfaces from ice machines or drink dispensers
Outdoor Slip and Fall Dangers
- Buckled or uneven sidewalks
- Damaged curbs
- Parking lots that haven’t been properly maintained
- Tree roots near walking areas
- Potholes or other damage to streets with poor maintenance
- Stairways and treads in outdoor areas
- Slippery surfaces caused by snow or ice
Slips and Falls in Older People
Slip and fall accidents are particularly dangerous for older Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of every five falls of an individual 65 or over results in serious injury, including traumatic brain injury and other types of head injuries and broken bones such as hip fractures and wrist fractures. This can result in extensive hospitalization and therapy, and in some instances, results in the death of the victim.
Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall injuries come under premises liability. When a slip and fall is due to negligence on the part of a homeowner, business or public entity, the victim may be due compensation for their injuries. Contacting an injury lawyer with experience in slip and fall accidents can be a positive first step toward obtaining that compensation.
How an Accident Victim Can Help in a Slip and Fall
- Take photographs of the scene. Wet spots on the floor and other evidence can be cleaned up or removed quickly. If the object was a piece of food, save it in the freezer or refrigerator. If it was a nonperishable object that caused your fall, place it in a plastic bag and keep it in a safe place.
- Look for witnesses to your accident, and ask them to write down what they saw and include their contact information.
- Take plenty of photos of the scene, including any video cameras nearby that may have caught the accident on film.
- Fill out an accident report at the store, and ask for a copy of it.
- Go to the emergency room or your own physician right away. Tell the physician you had an accident, and ask for a copy of the report and notes about your injury.
- Save the clothing and shoes you were wearing in a plastic bag. Package the shoes and clothing separately, and seal the bags with tape so any residue stuck to the shoes or clothing will not be lost.
Sacramento Slip and Fall Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento slip and fall lawyer. If you or your loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, whether in a store, on a sidewalk or in another location, phone me at (916) 921-6400 for my free, friendly advice. We also have a toll-free line at (800) 404-5400.
As a member of the California chapter of Million Dollar Advocates Forum, our group represents trial lawyers in the United States who rank at the top with settlements or verdicts of $1 million or higher.
I am founder and owner of autoaccident.com, a website dedicated to helping Northern Californians obtain information on the different types of personal injuries.
Photo Attribution: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wet_floor_-_piso_mojado.jpg courtesy of rotatebot
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