Slip and fall incidents result in almost 1 million ER visits each year. Unfortunately, 15% of such incidents involve serious injuries including fractures and even death.
Slip and fall accidents often involve fractures, head injuries and long term or permanent disability. If you are a victim of a slip and fall injury, you may feel that nobody is responsible for the mishap and that there is no way to seek medical reimbursement or compensation for the injuries. In reality, the property or business owner may be held accountable for the incident if it was a result of the owner’s negligence.
What causes slip and fall incidents?
Slip and fall incidents can occur anywhere from supermarkets to banks, from hotels to factories. Usually, these mishaps are a result of a hazardous environment or dangerous floor conditions such as:
- Ice or snow coverage: Parking lots and sidewalks covered with snow and ice can pose a huge risk for anybody traversing the outdoor area.
- Water or fluid spills: Milk or juice spills on the floor, water left behind after the floor has been mopped, oil spills in parking lots and other fluids that make the floor slippery can lead to an incident.
- Uneven floor level: Cracks and breaks in flooring or cement, dangerous stairs with differing heights, and uneven sidewalks can also pose a risk.
- Neglect: Without routine repair and maintenance work, hallways, stairwells and sidewalks can become unsafe for use.
- Poor maintenance: Business and property owners are responsible for maintaining areas that are open for public use with proper lighting, appropriate design and construction safe floor conditions, etc…
What should a business do to prevent slip and fall incidents?
- – Prevent weather-related hazards by implementing a policy to promptly remove snow and ice buildup from sidewalks and parking lots.
- – Put a rule in place for immediately mopping up all liquid spills upon discovery.
- – Make people aware of any hazardous conditions by placing signs at the entrance and area that has wet or slippery floors, particularly in inclement weather when such surface conditions are common.
- – Use non-slip floor mats in areas that are prone to liquid spills such as the bathroom, kitchen, and entrances.
- – Install slip resistant flooring options.
- – Bathrooms attract water spills, so have them checked regularly throughout the shifts.
- – Over 30% of all slip and fall incidents are attributed to poor outdoor lighting, so make sure that the parking lot and sidewalks are well illuminated.
Who is responsible for slip and fall incidents in commercial businesses?
It all depends on the specific circumstances of the incident. If hazardous conditions led to the fall and if these conditions were created due to the negligence of the business owner, the commercial entity may be responsible for the mishap.
- – Did the business owner/manager create the dangerous conditions, willfully or negligently?
- – Did the owner/manager of the enterprise know that dangerous conditions existed and fail to correct/repair them?
- – Should the owner/manager have known about the dangerous conditions because they existed for an extended length of time?
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall incident, this is what you need to do.
- – Seek emergency medical care.
- – Inform the business owner/manager of the incident.
- – Get the names and the contact information of the witnesses.
- – Take pictures of the incident scene, including the hazard that led to the fall.
- – Get the manager/business owner to give you a copy of the incident report.
- – Keep documentary proof of medical treatment and expenses as well as any monetary losses.
Because slip and fall incidents in commercial businesses are treated as personal injuries, there is a two-year statute of limitations on such cases. This means you have two years to file your claim.
But the time limit for filing the case is just one part of the problem. Proving liability in slip and fall cases can be quite complicated. Moreover, along with the business, the insurance provider will be involved in the litigation. These companies aim to protect the business owners and pay you nothing.
If you have suffered injuries due to a slip and fall incident, you will need an experienced attorney to advocate on your behalf. You have the right to receive fair compensation. We will ensure that you get the medical treatment and recovery you are entitled to. Call us today and let our team of lawyers handle the matter for you.