Slip and Fall Injuries - Where You Stand Legally

Here in the United States, millions of people are injured every year in slip and fall accidents, and OHSA figures show us that slips, trips, and falls result in approximately 17,000 deaths each year. They are the number one reason for hospital emergency admissions.

Common causes of slip and fall accidents

Walking surfaces that are wet, either as the result of spills or applications of wet products, often cause slipping accidents. Others are caused by dry products, such as dust, powder, and granules, lying on highly polished floors, freshly waxed surfaces, and sloped walking surfaces.

Loose rugs or mats, tiles, and floorboards, cluttered walkways, uneven floors, and broken steps also pose risks of slip and fall accidents.

Types of injuries resulting from slips and falls

Many victims of slip and fall accidents sustain fractures, bruises, contusions, sprains, strains, abrasions, and lacerations to various parts of the body, and may require medical treatment and time off work in order to recuperate.

As a result, injured persons incur substantial costs due to:

  • Lost wages or salaries
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Reduced quality of life

Who may be liable for a slip and fall accident?

Tort law generally holds property owners, managers, or specific contractors legally responsible for an accident on their premises if it can be proved that they either:

  1. Caused the spill or dangerous surface,
  2. Were aware of the spill or dangerous surface but did nothing about it, or
  3. Should have known of the dangerous surface, just as a reasonable person should have under the same situation, but did nothing to remove, repair, or prevent the injury.

Claiming compensation for slip and fall injury

If you are injured in a slip and fall incident, seeking legal advice will help to determine whether a right to compensation exists in your particular situation. A competent and experienced personal injury attorney in your area can assess all the details and, if appropriate, represent you before insurance companies or in court.

Different states observe their own slip and fall rules, particularly when the defendant asserts a defense of comparative negligence or contributory fault of the injured plaintiff.

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