Slip and fall accidents can lead to harsh, long-lasting consequences. While many people fail to realize how seriously a person can be injured in such accidents, the reality is that these accidents lead to major injuries (and even deaths) every single day. Protecting yourself against slip and fall accidents requires you to be educated about what causes them in the first place. These are the four most common causes of slip and fall accidents in 2022:
1. Inclement Weather
If you’ve been out and about on a rainy day, you’ll understand how fast a wet surface can lead you into a disastrous situation. Inclement weather conditions lead to some of the harshest slip and fall accidents because they cause particularly slippery and hazardous environments. When businesses remain open during inclement weather, especially if it’s snowing and ice hazards are possible, it’s crucial that they warn customers, and close off areas that could cause serious slip and fall accidents. When they fall to do so, they put people at risk, and some groups are at higher risk for slip and fall accidents. Elderly people, in particular, can sustain major injuries from these falls. A broken hip, for example, can cause a 50% chance of fatal complications for elderly folk. You must always use good judgment before walking on any surface in inclement weather. In addition to rain and snow, high winds can cause people to slip and fall dangerously.
2. Poor Surface Maintenance
When a business sets up shop, they have to ensure that all surfaces, walking and otherwise, are kept properly maintained. If they fail to do so, they are setting up a huge chance for customers to fall prey to slip and fall accidents. Uneven surfaces, slippery surfaces, tripping hazards, and more can lead to this type of disastrous scenario, after all. When it comes to cleaning duties, employees should be trained to ensure all slippery areas are cut off from the general public, and that even slightly wet areas are secured with signage that warns people to be careful. Tripping hazards, and uneven surfaces, however, are typically caused by a lack of maintenance on the property owner’s part and can lead to even more high-profile lawsuits. Property and business owners must do monthly property checks to ensure all surfaces are being properly maintained and repaired. Otherwise, they are putting themselves in legal jeopardy.
3. Nursing Home Neglect
Unfortunately, many of the most devastating slip and fall accidents happen in nursing homes. Since elderly patients can be harshly injured in even minor slip and fall accidents, it becomes extra important for nursing home staff members to keep walking areas and surfaces secured at all times. Even a slight lapse in judgment, cleaning, or maintenance can lead to disaster (and even death). Non-slip surfaces need to be applied to many different areas of nursing homes for this reason, especially in common areas and bathrooms. It’s also crucial that nursing home staff always watch out for any potential tripping hazards present in the home. If they stay on top of their duties, they can protect their patients from the trauma of a slip and fall accident. When a nursing home patient is injured in a slip and fall accident, the nursing home itself immediately falls under suspicion of participating in neglectful behavior.
4. Poorly Made Footwear
While most people assume that tripping is always their fault, it’s sometimes due to the way their footwear is made and manufactured. There are cases every single year where footwear manufacturers get into legal trouble after it’s discovered that they knowingly released shoes that can increase the chance of tripping and falling. In cases where it’s the footwear owner’s fault, wearing poorly maintained shoes can also lead to serious slip and fall accidents. However, if you’re wearing brand-new shoes and keep finding yourself tripping and stumbling in them, you could have a legal case on your hands. This case becomes that much more relevant if you’re thrown into a dangerous slip and fall accident due to the shoe being poorly made by the manufacturer. Always change your footwear if you suddenly find yourself having a hard time staying balanced in your current shoes.
Staying Aware Helps to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
If you remain aware of your surroundings, your footing, and your sense of balance, you can more successfully avoid dangerous slip and fall accidents. If you find yourself a victim of poor maintenance, footwear, or neglect, you may have the legal right to sue those responsible via a slip and fall accident lawsuit.