According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), which is a non-profit that was established to prevent slips, trips, and falls using education, research, and standards development, slips and falls lead to one million emergency room visits in the United States every year. While slip and fall are not the primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, they are the leading cause of lost days from work, and they cause about half of all accidental home deaths.
Fractures (and hip fractures in particular) are a common consequence of falls, and they occur in about 5% of all people who suffer a fall. Furthermore, falls and fractures are more common in elderly individuals, and about half of all elderly adults who suffer a fall and a fracture are unable to return home or even live independently after suffering the fall.
These are alarming facts and figures, so we must ask ourselves: What are the fundamental reasons for slip and fall accidents?
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common causes of slip and fall accidents are as below:
Surfaces That Are Wet or Uneven
Potholes, carpeting that is not properly installed, loose mats, changes in floor material, loose floorboards, cluttered floors, and uneven flooring or sidewalks can lead to slips and falls. Even at slow walking speeds, a change in surface friction or a change in traction can lead to a nasty fall, broken bones, and other forms of personal injury.
Hazardous weather conditions such as rain, sleet, and snow can lead to outdoor slips and falls. Property owners and city municipalities have a responsibility to keep streets and the various walkways used by pedestrians on the property in question clean and clear of slip and fall hazards.
A Lack of Training
Many workplace slips and falls occur as a result of improper training, especially in the manufacturing and construction fields and in factories and warehouses. These industries often require workers to walk back and forth between stockpiles of inventory or between workstations and across narrow, poorly-lit, or slippery surfaces.
Neglect in Elderly Care Facilities
Although it may not be obvious at first, neglect in the likes of nursing homes and other elderly care facilities are a leading cause of slips and falls since they involve the demographic that is at the highest risk of slips and falls, to begin with. If the administrators of nursing homes and elderly care facilities fail to satisfactorily monitor and assist their residents, slips and falls are all the more likely to occur.
Have you been involved in a slip and fall accident? Speak to a slip and fall accident lawyer today. Depending on where and how your accident occurred, anyone from a property owner, business owner, employer, city municipality, or a maintenance contractor can potentially be held liable for your accident and for the injuries and damages you suffer as a result. Call today for a private consultation about the laws that apply to your specific case and to learn more about filing a claim.