Serious slips and falls are more common than many people realize. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), more than 8 million Americans visit emergency rooms for falls each year, and 12 percent of those visits are directly attributed to slip-and-fall accidents.
Slippery floors are a leading cause of slips and falls. Floors may be slick due to water, snow, or ice; excessive or improperly-applied wax or polish; grease, oil, or other lubricants; or debris in walkways.
Property owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to prevent injury to guests and other visitors. Those who fail to do so may potentially be held liable for accidents and injuries that result. Whether a slip-and-fall accident victim has grounds for an actionable premises liability personal injury claim or lawsuit depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The slipperiness of the floor. Was the floor unreasonably slippery? Can the slip-and-fall victim show that the property owner was aware of the danger and failed to act?
- The reason for the slick surface. Knowing the floor was slippery isn't enough; slip-and-fall victims must identify what caused the incident. Taking photos of the slick substance may help strengthen the claim.
- How long the slippery substance was on the floor. Evidence showing how long the dangerous substance was present can go a long way to proving that a property owner should have known of the danger and acted to prevent potential injury. However, if the substance was only there seconds prior to the fall, it can be hard to argue any negligence for your case.
- The absence of warning signs. Even regular floor maintenance can make floors slippery. When slippery floors are unavoidable, property owners need to set up cones or other warnings to alert guests or visitors of the potential danger.
- Did the slip-and-fall victim ignore posted warnings? Victims who choose to walk across a slippery floor, despite warnings, may have a difficult time recovering compensation.
Consult an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney
Even minor slips and falls might result in serious injuries. If this happened to you, the seasoned attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you understand your rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an initial case analysis.