Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

If you have ever been in a slip and fall accident, you know they are no laughing matter. In fact, slip and fall accidents can and do cause severe injuries. Whether your fall was mild, moderate, or severe, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and related losses. 

A close look at these types of accidents shows that certain of their causes are more common than others. They tend to repeat on a regular basis and involve negligence. They also entail more than just slipping, extending into tripping and stumbling as well.

Slippery Surfaces

Slippery surfaces are common but not necessarily acceptable. In certain cases, property owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that their walkways are free from slip-causing substances, such as water and other liquids, food items like bananas, and ice.

This duty extends to commercial and residential property owners and tenants. A restaurant, for example, must police its floors for spills that might make a customer slip-trip-and-fall. Similarly, grocery stores and other retail establishments must ensure that aisles are safe.

Private homeowners and tenants must also ensure that visitors don’t suffer injuries. They are required to take reasonable care to keep areas with traffic safe. Mailmen, utility workers, and friends all have a reasonable expectation of not slipping and falling.

Clutter and Debris

Falls leading to serious injuries occur when clutter and debris enter the picture. Exits and entrances should be free from any hindrances. However, property owners and tenants are sometimes negligent, leaving items in doorways or boxes where people don’t expect them. 

Poor Lighting

Proper lighting is necessary on all walkways. People need to see what’s right in front of them as well as where they are going. There are code requirements for lighting, requiring the placement of specific types of lighting around homes and commercial properties. 

Even without code requirements, there is a duty to keep walkways illuminated, especially if risks are present. Slip-trip-and-fall risks associated with poor lighting include:

  • Falls from heights
  • Non-visible tripping hazards
  • Non-visible slipping hazards
  • Unperceived holes 
  • Unperceived uneven pavement.

In some cases, warning signs may serve as sufficient warning for slip and trip hazards. However, property owners need to take steps in a reasonable amount of time to address any known risks. 

Broken or Defective Stairs and Walkways

Stairs are commonly involved in slip-trip-and-fall accidents but not always because of slippery surfaces. Stairs and landings in disrepair cause all manner of trip-and-fall accidents. 

Improperly installed stairs and landings also lead to injuries. Building and residential codes dictate the manner in which stairways, stairsteps, porches, and the like are to be laid out for the public. In many cases, they must have guardrails and handrails to prevent falls. Property owners who fail to comply with these regulations can be held liable if injuries occur. 

Walkways must be reasonably safe to use as well. Sidewalks and other paths in poor condition can easily lead to stumbling. Concrete walkways and surfaces suffer from holes and deep cracks. These conditions should be remedied promptly when members of the public must transit areas with these defects. 

Cords and Wires

Cords and wires are essential for most businesses and houses. However, they need never be in a place where they can trip someone. Nonetheless, trips and falls from cords happen all too often. Visitors to a property can find themselves tripping over carelessly placed extension cords or cords for appliances and electronics. 

On job sites, such as construction sites, wires are commonly run throughout the work area. Safety protocols dictate how wires are to be handled and run. However, property owners and bosses sometimes fail to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines

Keep in mind that on-the-job slip, trip, and fall injuries are typically handled by workers’ compensation insurance, which does not allow an injured employee to sue their boss for negligence. However, a negligent property owner who is not the boss may be sued.

In cases where a negligent property owner is the cause of a work accident, the injured worker may have two claims: one for workers’ compensation and one against the property owner.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

These types of accidents have the potential to cause some of the most serious injuries people can face. They can even lead to death. Some of these injuries include:

Although seeking medical treatment is a personal decision, victims are strongly advised to seek medical attention after being injured. A medical report will provide the documentation you need to prove your injuries, and, more importantly, your injuries will be addressed. 

Common Locations for Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents

Accidents in this category can happen anywhere people walk. The risk of them occurring tends to rise the more people roam freely throughout a certain area or location. Common accident locations include:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Apartment buildings
  • Amusement parks and waterparks 
  • Stadiums and sports arenas
  • Swimming pools
  • Malls and shopping centers
  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores

Many of these locations are commercial establishments. Slip, trip, and fall accidents do happen in residential settings, but they occur much more frequently at places of business. 

Compensation You Can Recover

Ultimately, someone should typically pay after a slip and fall accident because negligence is often a common denominator. Victims can access valuable damages for their losses, including:

  • Present and future medical costs
  • Lost wages and future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other intangible losses

In the unfortunate event of a fatality, wrongful death damages can be appropriate as well. 

Justice for Your Injuries

If you have been injured in a slip, trip, and fall accident, an attorney can help you get justice for your injuries. Insurance companies will try to pay you less. However, with an attorney fighting for you, your chances of a fair settlement or verdict rise significantly.

Contact Our Gainesville Slip and Fall Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville slip and fall lawyers at Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258