Everyday Slip and Fall Injuries to Be On Guard Against

Tripping over an object you didn't see or slipping on a wet surface are two of the most common reasons why people suffer slip and fall accidents. These accidents fall under premises liability and can occur in virtually any setting – including private homes and businesses, as well as on public property.

Every year, thousands of people sustain injuries ranging from a minor scratch to being crippled in slip and fall accidents. The National Floor Safety Institute has found that 50% of all accidental deaths that occur in the home are due to injuries sustained when falling. Injuries from falls account for more than eight million emergency room visits every year.

Unfortunately, accidental falls become increasingly common with age, with approximately one-third of people over age 65 falling every year.

Most Common Types of Slip and Fall Locations and Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, falls in the home most commonly occur in these areas:

  • Doorways
  • Stairs
  • Ramps
  • Ladders
  • Areas that have uneven surfaces
  • Crowded areas

The following are the most common places for falls to occur at a business or in public:

  • Parking lots
  • Slippery floors
  • Sidewalks 
  • Stairs
  • Collision with an object, such as a light pole
  • Tripping over uneven carpeting or other flooring surfaces
  • Falling from a ladder, forklift, or other equipment used in a work setting

Regardless of where and how the slip and fall accident occurred, it can sometimes result in serious injuries. Some of the most commonly treated problems associated with falling include:

  • Broken hips and pelvic bones, which are more common among the elderly
  • Broken arms and legs
  • Back and spinal cord injuries, which are among the most painful and difficult to recover from
  • Head injuries causing permanent brain damage, seizures, memory loss or impaired cognitive functioning
  • Neck injuries
  • Torn ligaments in the wrist, foot, or leg

How to Prevent Accidental Injuries from a Fall

Negligence on the part of others is often the cause of slip and fall accidents. A good example of this is a tenant of an apartment building falling down the stairs because the property owner failed to install proper lighting and/or remove obstacles from the stairway. By following a few common-sense rules, people can keep themselves and others safe from serious injury. This starts with wearing the proper footwear. Shoes with a firm sole and tight laces are appropriate in most situations.

Whether a spill happens at home or in public, wiping it up immediately or bringing it to an employee's attention is the best way to avoid injuries. Keeping clutter to a minimum is another practical way to keep homes and buildings safe for everyone. Finally, both home and business owners should replace burned out light bulbs immediately to ensure adequate lighting. Lack of illumination and tripping over objects on stairs can quickly lead to serious injuries.

When to Seek a Personal Injury Attorney

Although it only takes a few seconds for someone to fall, the physical pain, medical expenses and work restrictions can last for the remainder of his or her life. When the situation was caused by the negligence of someone else, whether intentional or not, the injured person may be entitled to compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

An attorney who is experienced in litigation of slip and fall accidents is the best person to advise the injured person on the likelihood of success and the amount of compensation he or she can expect receive.

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