Slip-and-Fall Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Slip-and-fall accidents result in thousands of serious injuries each year, with some having fatal consequences. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls are the leading cause of trips to the emergency room in the United States, claiming 21.3% of all visits. More specifically, over one million slip-and-fall accidents result in an emergency room visit, annually. Yes, accidents happen, but many falls are caused by a third party’s mistake or negligence. Depending on the cause of a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages.

Common Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Before we address slip-and-fall compensation amounts, let’s talk about common accidents. While slip-and-fall accidents vary, five specific causes seem to be the most prevalent. Learn about these potentially dangerous scenarios and how to protect yourself from a dangerous fall:

1. Wet and Uneven Surfaces

Wet and uneven surfaces are the number-one cause of slip-and-fall accidents, globally. In the United States alone, the NFSI found that wet and uneven surfaces account for 55% of all slip-and-fall accidents. Here are some specific wet and uneven surfaces to be aware of:

  • Potholes
  • Loose floorboards
  • Damaged carpet
  • Cluttered floors
  • Poorly constructed staircases
  • Damaged or uneven sidewalks
  • Cleaned, waxed, or mopped floors
  • Loose mats, rugs, and runners
  • Flooring moisture collection

Since all of these occurrences can be found in domestic, commercial, and even public areas, they make up most slip-and-fall accidents. 

How to Prevent These Falls

To eliminate these types of slip-and-fall accidents, everyone needs to be vigilant and responsible – especially the property owners. At the end of the day, it’s their responsibility to keep patrons and employees safe. Keep floors uncluttered, post signs when potential dangers exist (e.g., wet floor signs, signs for road or sidewalk damage, etc.). Repair flooring that could cause a fall or clearly mark the dangers. 

Depending on where these slip-and-fall accidents take place, you may need to seek out a slip-and-fall attorney to help you. It’s not the oily floor’s fault; it’s the person or corporation who left it there as a serious hazard. If you are in the area, our slip-and-fall lawyers in Las Vegas at SJW Injury Attorneys can provide you with more information. 

2. Poor Weather Conditions

Nasty weather causes thousands of slip-and-fall accidents each year. Snowy conditions that lead to covered sidewalks, ice storms that lead to slippery driveways, or heavy rainfalls that cause slick conditions are all dangerous culprits.

How to Prevent These Falls

No one can control the weather, but there are other precautions we can take to ensure safety. Property owners and municipalities have legal responsibilities to minimize the dangers presented by wintery weather, such as shoveling and salting sidewalks, plowing roads, or uncovering stairs to reduce the weather’s impact on footing. If those responsibilities are not adhered to, and you suffer a fall as a direct result, you may be entitled to compensation. Slip-and-fall compensation amounts will vary depending on injury severity and other factors. 

3. Footwear

Surprisingly, what we put on our feet has a huge impact on our overall stability. The NFSI found that 24% of all slip-and-fall accidents are a result of people wearing improper footwear. 

How to Prevent These Falls

It will take more than simply ditching the high heels. Slip-and-fall accidents occur just as often when people are wearing sneakers and work boots. The big risk with footwear stems from poor traction. Without the right support and traction, it’s much easier to slip and fall.

Nevertheless, if you suffer a fall due to a company’s or municipality’s negligence and error, you should still contact a slip-and-fall attorney.

4. Workplace Accidents

The workplace is another common area for slip-and-fall accidents – most often as construction accidents. Employees who work in these types of high-risk environments are around tools and equipment that can lead to serious falls.

How to Prevent These Falls

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent workplace slip and falls from happening. Proper training is the most notable. Since these employees are working in high-risk situations, proper training helps keep everyone safe. Failure to maintain safety standards could result in an employer or contractor being held liable for damages.

5. Elderly Dangers

According to the CDC, one in every three people over the age of 65 falls each year. Since elderly people often have impaired balance, they are at a much higher risk of falling. Due to their age, seniors who fall are at a higher risk of serious or life-threatening injury, too. Hip fractures are the most common injuries associated with slip-and-fall accidents. These facts and statistics are particularly alarming as they remain consistent for elderly citizens residing in nursing homes.

How to Prevent These Falls

For elderly people in nursing homes, the homes themselves are responsible for the safety of their residents. Administrators and aids should be cognizant of those they care for and assist residents properly. Nursing homes are one of the most common places for slip-and-fall accidents, which is disheartening since these accidents are avoidable.

What to Do After a Fall

You’ve fallen and you can’t get up – now what? If the slip and fall could have been avoided, you may have a case. Our slip-and-fall lawyers here in Las Vegas can help. Schedule a time to talk to us and we can provide you with more information regarding your case. Remember that laws and liabilities vary by state as do slip-and-fall compensation amounts. At the end of the day, however, we are on your side and will do everything in our power to penalize the responsible party involved.