Written by attorney David Allan Bressman

Common slip and fall causes and injuries

Slip, trip and fall accidents are much more common than many people realize; they are the leading cause of emergency room visits, as well as the primary cause for missed work days, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). Many of these slip and fall accidents may turn into liability cases if another party was actually responsible for the dangerous conditions that caused the accident.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

There are numerous causes for slip, trip, and fall accidents, and almost any location can pose a hazard if not maintained properly.

For example, a few common circumstances that may lead to a slip and fall include:

  • poorly maintained sidewalks or other public areas;
  • narrow, unsafe, or broken stairways;
  • loose handrails;
  • unguarded manholes;
  • uneven flooring, torn or rippled carpeting, and wet floors;
  • unsafe practices in construction areas;
  • poor lighting; and
  • safety code violations.

Oftentimes, these accidents could have been prevented if the owner or caretaker would have upheld a legal duty of care to make sure the area was safe. Not all accidents warrant filing an injury claim against another party, but if someone else was, in fact, responsible for the injuries incurred, then that party may be help legally liable.

The Potential Magnitude of Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injuries are quite dangerous and can cause a long list of injuries that can leave victims debilitated and unable to work, not to mention overwhelmed with medical bills.

Other than fatalities, severe fractures, head injuries and spinal injuries are among the most serious injuries that occur in these accidents.

Other injuries may include:

  • knee injuries;
  • shattered bones;
  • muscle and ligament injuries;
  • neck injuries; and
  • scarring.

There’s a ripple effect that happens with a serious injury after an accident. The victim usually must miss work for treatment and recuperation time, therefore having to deal with not only the injury itself, but a loss of income. Then, medical bills begin mounting, as does the stress from not being able to quickly resume normal life.

Significant Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Statistics

Until it happens to you, most folks don’t think much about the dangers of slip, trip and fall accidents. They are a much more serious issue than people might assume, though, and the statistics regarding slip and fall accidents are startling.

According to information compiled by the NFSI:

  • 8 million people visit hospital emergency rooms each year because of slip and fall injuries;
  • slip and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims;
  • half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall, and most occur at ground level;
  • issues with flooring cause more than 2 million injuries a year;
  • slip and falls are the leading cause of occupational injury for workers 15-24 years old; and
  • each year, about a third of individuals over 65 years old will fall.

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