Banana peels are not the main cause of slip and fall accidents, despite what cartoons seem to indicate. In fact, wet, slippery floors are the primary cause of people slipping, falling, and sometimes becoming seriously hurt, with the majority of falls due to accident on level surfaces, not steps or curbs.
Furthermore, these wet, slippery floors do not have to be the result of a spill. Improper cleaning or care of a floor can leave it slick to the touch—and very difficult to walk on without tumbling.
The most likely place to slip and fall on a wet, hazardous floor? The grocery store, which makes sense. Think of all the times you’ve walked down an aisle and seen a soda battle exploded on the floor, or a cleaning solution that was spilled out of a bottle. Other danger zones include mall food courts, restaurants, the workplace, nursing homes and, of course, your own home.
Wherever you might encounter a wet or slippery floor, even a cautious pedestrian can slip and tumble, causing injuries ranging from a bruise to a fractured vertebra. Rather than concluding that you should have been more careful, consider contacting a slip and fall attorney and find out if you have grounds for legal action against the business or property owner responsible for the floor where you fell.
Pursuing legal action against a property owner who was negligent in caring for his/her floor is not an example of “gotcha” litigation. Rather, it is using your legal right to compensation under stringent premises liability laws. Taking your case to a lawyer can also expose a business owner who has not practiced consistent safety when caring for his/her floors. Thus, you could actually prevent future accidents by calling a business owner to account for a slippery floor that caused your fall.
Medical costs for slip and fall accidents can get extensive, and they are not all immediate. For instance, you can very easily suffer a concussion from a slip if you hit your head. You might not feel the after-effects of such a concussion for a few days, but then the headaches, dizziness and other symptoms could set in later in the week.
The next thing you know, you are unable to work due to migraines and vertigo, and you miss valuable time and pay. You also might spend a fair amount of money going to doctor’s appointments and receiving counsel on how to recover your balance and pain-free life. Or, you could suffer more visible injuries, such as bone fractures and breaks, some of which could leave you disabled.
You are going to need a slip and fall lawyer to help you determine if the property owner did constant safety reviews, placed warning signs in the wet and slippery area, and had employees respond rapidly to any spills that occurred on the property. You will appreciate having a lawyer’s help to dig through video and written records, as well as sworn testimony, to determine if the owner was aware of the danger, and then if s/he responded in a reasonable time frame to eliminate the danger or warn customers about it.
Another aspect of the law that many people don’t know is that property owners can even be held liable for the type of flooring that they have and how they treat it. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than two million fall injuries per year. That means that business owners need to provide rails, warning signs and use a non-slip treatment on their floors, especially those made of tiles or polished, untreated concrete. Such floors need certain products applied to them to make them safe for the average pedestrian/patron.
One group that needs to be especially vigilant is mall owners. Not only do food courts see their fair share of spills, liquids and cleaning chemicals, the entrances at malls can become like skating rinks on days of inclement weather. Shoppers who come in from the cold and/or wet place their feet in the same spot as thousands before them, and water and slush can accumulate very quickly, making the area extremely hazardous.
If you have slipped and fallen on a wet, slippery floor, you would do well to contact a slip and fall attorney and find out if you have grounds for a case. Rather than face huge medical bills and deficits in your account due to lost work time while simply chalking up your misfortune to your own “clumsiness,” find out if indeed the property owner can be held liable for the condition that prompted your slip. Call us today at 215 897 9300.