Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common personal injuries to occur, even though they are extremely easy to prevent in most cases. There are many different contributing factors and circumstances that can cause slip and fall accidents, and a variety of injuries that can occur because of them as well. These injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises, to major injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.
What are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Just as the name suggests, slip and fall accidents are when an individual or pedestrian either slips or trips on a surface or obstructions in a walking path, and falls as a result. These accidents become liability cases or personal injury claims when the slip or trip occurs on someone else’s property, and it can be decidedly proven that it could have been prevented, or that the property owner is at fault.
Property owners have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their guests and/or visitors. This includes having proper surfaces and paths to walk on, and should there be a hazard or obstruction, providing proper signage as a warning. Not following this obligation is considered negligence, and if a fall resulting in an injury occurs because of this, legal action can be pursued.
Slip and Fall Causes
Many different circumstances can cause slip and fall accidents, and most of these can be prevented, whether its by the property owner or the pedestrian themselves. Most slip and falls are caused by wet or slippery floors, especially when no proper warning signs or barriers have been provided. Another common cause is tripping hazards, or obstructions within walking paths. Yet another cause for slip and falls is sloping or uneven surfaces.
How to Prevent Slip and Falls
The prevention for slip and falls should fall on the property owner, as it is their legal obligation to provide a safe environment for anyone who sets foot on the property. Each of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents listed above can be prevented if the proper precautions are taken.
Wet or slippery floors can happen for a number of reasons, including cleaning or waxing, leaking plumbing fixtures, or dripping ceilings/roofs. The wet or slippery floor itself may not be preventable, but there are actions that can be taken to prevent slips or falls. At the very least, there should be signs providing warning to the circumstance, and barriers if the hazard is too high.
Tripping hazards in walkways can include a variety of objects or obstructions. Most of the time, these can simply be removed from the path, however, sometimes these are permanent fixtures and cannot be moved. If this is the case, warning signs should be put into place so that pedestrians are aware of the hazard.
A lot of the time, if there is a sloping or uneven surface, it is due to the construction of the path itself, and cannot usually be evened out or fixed. In these circumstances, handrails or proper signage can help to prevent slip and falls.
There are many causes of slip and falls, however, most of these are preventable. In general, if there is a hazard or any chance that something may cause a slip or fall, it should be removed or altered, and if that is not possible, there should be proper signage put into place in order to make it known to pedestrians. Failure to provide warning of hazards can be considered negligence on a property owner’s behalf. If you have experienced an injury due to negligence leading to a slip and fall, contact Eric Blank Injury Attorneys today.
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