Slip and falls are surprisingly dangerous: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls cause a serious injury like a broken bone or head trauma. In fact, each year, more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall.
Like automobile accidents, slip and fall injuries are some the most common types of accidents experienced in the US. Unfortunately, most slip and fall accidents occur in hotels, restaurants, and other fun public spaces we assume are safe.
Property owners have a legal duty to maintain safe premises for the public. When a slip and fall occurs, property owners can be held liable for injuries that could have been avoided, had the property owner taken the appropriate action.
In legal terms, this is commonly known as premises liability, and it involves a lot more than just slips and falls.
Click here to learn more about premises liability from our video library.
Avoid Injury: Simple Safety Tips
Whether you’re a property owner or visiting guest, there are simple steps you can take to avoid accidents throughout the year.
Here are some safety tips for property owners:
- Regularly check the property for hazards and dangerous seasonal changes (icy paths, fallen branches, etc.)
- Regularly check property lighting for burnt out bulbs—well-lit walkways are the safest!
- Be cautious when using extension cords
- Keep ice melt on hand during the winter to use on icy walkways
- Ensure you have adequate signage to deploy should a spill occur
Here are some universal safety tips to help avoid a slip and fall injury:
- Wear shoes with treads, especially when there’s rain, snow, or ice on the ground
- If a path looks too slippery or you don’t think you can navigate it safely, look for an alternate route—why risk injury?
- Walk slow and conscientiously; be mindful of your surroundings
- Park your car in well-lit areas; look for walking paths with good lighting
- If you’re in a public place and see a slippery floor or other hazard, report it to the proper authority
- Don’t trespass: it’s illegal, and you never know what could be lurking underfoot
When to Call a Slip & Fall Attorney
However, slip and fall cases are different. What if there wasn’t anyone around to see you fall…no one to corroborate your story?
Insurers rarely acknowledge liability to an underrepresented victim in a slip and fall case which is why it’s always a good idea to contact an attorney if you’re injured on someone else’s property.
You should also seek medical attention right away; documentation of the injury is important and can help safeguard your claim from dubious insurance adjusters.
More importantly, an experienced slip and fall attorney will handle all the red tape, the investigation, and negotiations so the victim can focus on what’s really important: recovery.