What Are Slip and Fall Accidents in Personal Injury?
Accident lawyers see slip and fall cases on a daily basis. When a settlement offer is not sufficient, the case will go to trial. These cases are common, but they don’t have to be. Business owners becoming careless about public safety. Landlords finding themselves too busy to make necessary repairs before a tenant sustains injuries. What it comes down to is prioritizing public safety. People who sustain injuries due to the recklessness of a landlord or a business owner should receive adequate compensation.
In the interest of public safety, our Shaked Law Resource Blog provides the Top 5 lawyer-approved ways to prevent slip and fall accidents. This Top 5 List provides important information for the prevention of slip and fall accidents. Before they can become a public safety risk!
#5: Repairing cracks in concrete, stabilizing unsafe railings, and removing other trip hazards lowers risk of slip and falls
Many businesses and property owners don’t pay attention until a tenant or patron sustains injuries. By then, it’s usually too late. Once a person sustains injuries, the property owner may be liable. Prevention is the best path to protection. It’s important to quickly repair cracks in sidewalks where footing becomes unstable. Sidewalk cracks can cause loss of balance and are easy to prevent by using any of the sidewalk repair services throughout Florida. These services provide property evaluations and charge a nominal fee to property owners.
It’s important to repair any potential hazards found on the property. Before they become a problem! The fee for a preventative repair service will always be less than legal fees that could accrue in the event of a slip and fall accident.
What are preventative measures to reduce slip and fall accidents?
Stabilizing handrails and banisters on property with stairs is one way to reduce the risk of slip and falls. Stable handrails provide safety for those with balance problems. However, those who are simply carrying a heavy bag of groceries will reach for a handrail to steady themselves. Safety measures are for everyone! If a banister is “rickety” or not properly installed, a person may slip and fall down the stairs. Falls down stairs result in sustaining life-threatening injuries. Falls down stairs can cause some of the most devastating injuries. Neck, back, spinal cord, and brain injuries can all occur from a fall down the stairs.
How are unforeseen trip hazards causing preventable slip and fall injuries?
Removing trip hazards can help in the prevention of slip and falls. Examples of trip hazards: packages in front of a door, plants in the way of foot traffic, garbage left outside. Cracks in sidewalks and unstable banisters are the first things we think of when apartment building hazards come to mind. Though, smaller issues such as plants and packages left outside also pose serious safety hazards.
It’s a landlord’s job to provide tenants with policies for things such as package delivery and where gardening is appropriate. Many apartment buildings offer complimentary package service. This means a building’s management office may hold packages for tenants. This assists in preventing the problem of deliveries piling up while tenants are away at work or on vacation.
Extra tip: adequate lighting helps in the prevention of slip and falls!
While adequate lighting prevents injuries such as negligent security liability from occurring, it helps reduce risk of slip and falls, too. Inadequate lighting in apartment hallways or lack of lighting on the outside of buildings, can be the cause of those coming home late sustaining injuries. A victim may accidentally trip going down a flight of stairs, over stray trash left on the ground, or a package left outside. Lack of visibility creates a liability issue for property owners. This type of liability isn’t uncommon when proper lighting is lacking and adequate repairs are not timely.
#4: Keeping floors clean and dry prevents slip and falls
For businesses, it’s important that staff is familiar with OSHA’s safety regulations. OSHA mandates every business’ health and safety standards and can check up on businesses and their owners unannounced at any time. Fines can add up if businesses fail to uphold standards, or the building’s health and safety practices are not up to code. This is why maintaining a clean business free of wet, dirty floors is non-negotiable.
How can busy restaurants reduce foot traffic and prevent slip and fall accidents?
Restaurant owners run busy establishments. During business hours, any mopping of spills or removal of food spills should occur as soon as it happens. Leaving food spills to deal with “later” can result in litigation “later”, as well. Leaving a spill, or food, on the floor leads to patrons slipping, falling, and sustaining injuries. Furthermore, when it comes to spills, mopping up messes is not enough. Any wet floors must be dry before allowing patrons to return to the area. Carts of food, extra chairs, and other trip hazards should never be in areas of high foot traffic. This simple safety measure can save business owners hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. Preventing accidents before they have the chance to occur is being proactive. Being proactive leads to safer establishments!
#3: Follow state and city laws for bike and scooter riding
Every state and city have specific laws concerning bike riding and scooter usage. These laws are in place to protect the public. However, they differ due to each state’s specific needs. While laws may differ slightly from state to state, certain aspects remain the same. Accidents happen when safety measures are ignored. Pedestrians should be aware of all surroundings and yield to those on bikes or scooters that are abiding by the laws. Citizens on bikes or the scooters must yield to pedestrians in the same manner.
Accidents occur when a bike rider or a scooter driver feel they have the right of way, only to end up crashing into a pedestrian attempting to cross the street or walk on the sidewalk. These accidents may fall under the umbrella of slip and fall, if the victim is knocked over. However, they can be severe and life threatening in nature if the bike rider or scooter driver is going at high speed, recklessly.
#2: Don’t walk and text
It’s important to remember to put the phone away when walking in busy places! Foot traffic and texting is one cause of slip and fall accidents. Texting and walking is becoming equally as dangerous as texting and driving. Becoming so involved in our Phone screens and forgetting to look up causes unnecessary slip and fall accidents. If a victim looks up, they may notice a “Wet Floor” sign and can avoid serious injury by walking in another direction.
However, these are rare occurrences, and usually, slip and falls are not the victim’s fault!
While it’s everyone’s job to pay attention to their surroundings for their personal safety, it’s equally as important for businesses to take public safety seriously. Lack of signage is one cause of serious, but preventable injuries while out in public. Businesses should never neglect safety measures such as lighting, hazard signs, and blocking off dangerous areas of the property.
#1: Utilize proper signage when safety hazards are present
This is possibly the most important point in our Top 5 list! The importance of properly utilizing hazard signage to make the public aware of any and all safety risks. Restrooms being cleaned must properly place “Wet Floor” signs in areas visible to guests before a slip and fall accident occurs. Placing the sign post accident may mean the business learned a lesson, but were negligent in the past. This means, the sign should be in plain view of the public. A patron about to enter a bathroom with a wet floor should have clear access to reading the sign. Businesses undergoing construction must place proper signs alerting to construction, and furthermore block off these areas.
Placing hazard signs, while not the only safety measure, are an important one. They can drastically reduce lawsuits pertaining to liability in the event of a patron sustaining injuries. Taking precautions to protect the public should not be a burden for a business owner. It should be a preventative measure to strengthen the business’ reputation for caring about public safety.
Why should those who sustain slip and fall injuries consult with a Personal Injury lawyer?
In the event of slip and fall accidents in which it’s not the victim’s fault, it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel. This means consulting with a Personal Injury lawyer whose firm has the experience to hold property owners and insurance companies accountable. Each case is unique. Sitting down with a Board Certified lawyer for a consultation is the only way to know if the specifics of a slip and fall case can result in litigation, and compensation.