Where Do Slip and Fall Accidents Typically Occur?
Slip and falls are not only the second-highest cause of workplace injuries, but they are also common in public places and homes. Slip and falls are responsible for as many as a million injuries every year; when a slip and fall is the result of negligence or failure to maintain the property, the owner of the property could be held legally responsible.
Slip and falls occur primarily when flooring surfaces are slippery, either from a spill, or from tracked-in snow, rain, or ice. While many people assume a slip and fall is the result of carelessness or awkwardness, nothing could be further from the truth. Below are FAQs regarding slip and fall accidents in Louisiana, Texas, and across the United States.
What are the primary causes of slip and fall accidents?
Stairs are a common cause of slip and fall accidents (narrow or poorly lit stairs, or stairways without a handrail), as are snow and ice, which leads to a slippery floor surface. Other causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Obstacles in the walkway
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Torn or frayed carpeting
- Spilled liquids
- Freshly mopped floors
- Poor lighting, making it difficult to see changes in floor height or other hazards
- Cords across the walkway
- Clutter or debris in walking aisles
- Damaged flooring, such as loose floorboards or tile
- Damaged sidewalks with cracks or gaps
- Potholes or ditches in parking lots or driveways
- Lack of hazard or warning signs
Where do slip and fall accidents happen most often?
While a slip and fall accident can happen anywhere, at any time, restaurants and grocery stores tend to have the most slip and fall accidents due to spills on the floor. In addition to grocery stores and restaurants, slip and fall accidents also occur in the following places:
- Public restrooms
- Moving sidewalks or escalators
- Stationary sidewalks and stairs
- Construction areas
- Slippery, wet areas around swimming pools
- Movie theaters
- Stadiums and sports arenas
- Amusement parks
- Parks and playgrounds
- Parking lots and garages
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
Is the property owner automatically at fault when a person suffers a slip and fall?
Whether the property owner will be held liable for your slip and fall depends on several different factors. Generally speaking, it must be shown that the owner—or his or her employees—failed to use reasonable care to keep the property safe. This means that common sense must be used, and any potential hazards must be promptly addressed. A court will consider whether a hazardous condition existed for a long enough period of time that the owner or employees should reasonably have been aware of the hazard. If a person ignored hazard signs and suffered a slip and fall, it is unlikely the owner would be held responsible for the accident.
How is the claim process affected when a fall is on public property versus private property?
Liability for a slip and fall claim depends more on the status of the person who fell than on whether the property is public or private. Both a licensee and an invitee have permission to be on the property, however, an invitee is generally there for the benefit of the property owner. As an example, a person who is shopping, dining, seeing a movie, etc., is there for the benefit of the property owner, while a licensee is usually could be a guest at a party or a family friend who is visiting.
While the person has permission to be on the property—or even a direct invitation—there is no direct benefit to the property owner. A licensee could also be a person who goes into a restaurant or shop to use the restroom, rather than to shop or eat. Invitees are afforded the most protection because they are on the premises with the specific purpose of further the business of the property owner. In either case, however—public or private property, licensee or invitee—owners have a duty to take reasonable care to protect visitors from dangerous conditions.
What should you do immediately after a slip and fall accident?
You should immediately seek medical attention if you were injured in the slip and fall accident. If you are physically able, take photographs of the area where you fell, specifically the hazard that caused your fall. If there were witnesses, be sure to write down their contact information.
How Can an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney help?
If you suffer a slip and fall accident, after seeking medical attention, speaking to an experienced slip and fall accident attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your accident. The highly skilled attorneys at Hoffoss Devall want to help you receive proper compensation for your Contact Hoffoss Devall today!