Slip and fall accidents occur very often and affect thousands of people annually, frequently causing severe injuries that require medical treatment and possibly surgery. Sometimes it may seem like these types of accidents are unavoidable, or are simply the fault of the victim who suffered the injury. Regrettably, a significant portion of these injuries are actually caused by improper floor maintenance. Knowing how to keep floors well-maintained can go a long way in keeping one’s self and visitors from suffering a slip and fall accident since property owners can be liable for the medical costs and lost wages incurred after this type of injury. If you have suffered a slip and fall and are unsure whether or not the property owner is responsible for your injury, at Rue & Ziffra, we have over 182 years of combined experience when it comes to dealing with personal injury cases and know how to help you fight for the benefits that you deserve.
In order to be free from the liability of a slip and fall, the property owner must have taken reasonable steps to keep the property free from the conditions that would cause a slip and fall. When having to prove that a property owner was aware of and failed to properly remove dangerous conditions, a slip and fall lawyer can be a tremendous help. There is always an inherent risk involved with walking around or simply entering someone else’s property. The courts and insurance companies will take this into account and weigh it against the conditions that existed at the time of the slip and fall. A slip and fall accident attorney will be able to tell whether or not a lawsuit is worth pursuing or even viable at all.
How does one take the reasonable precautions to prevent injuries? There are a few easy steps that can be followed to keep people safe while on the property. When in doubt on any of these steps, do not hesitate to contact us. We at Rue & Ziffra are dedicated to serving our community in any sort of personal injury case. Having been founded over four decades ago, we have the knowledge and experience it takes to resolve, and win, these types of cases.
First and most obvious is to keep walkways clean. Objects, even small ones, that may not have been seen or that cause the victim to attempt to step around or over it can cause an injury. This step is easily overlooked simply because it can be difficult or laborious to maintain. Children’s toys, family items, workplace products, or any number of items may litter a walkway frequently. If this is the case, then this step needs to be followed routinely.
Identifying troublesome areas around the property is also an important step. Often times food prep areas, areas with water access, and entry areas can easily be dangerous situations when traction is removed due to debris or liquid on the floor. These areas should have rugs or mats that are absorbent and have an anti-skid backing. Having a sign that indicates caution should be used – even in one’s home – when there are conditions that are not being dealt with immediately. Or, simply make it a duty to deal with these kinds of situations immediately.
Another one that seems more like common sense than an actual preventive step is proper lighting. If the light goes out in a hallway, entryway, or especially over stairs – it must be dealt with promptly. In the dark, it is significantly more difficult to make out any changes in elevation, objects in the way, or tell where steps are. Keeping extra light bulbs on hand for the lighting fixtures is an easy way to make sure that this kind of situation will be dealt with immediately.
When considering possible danger zones it is important to not forget that liability in a slip and fall accident extends beyond the walls of the buildings on the property. It is important to also consider the walkways, paths, and conditions existing outside. During the winter months, sidewalk salt and other tools for cleaning walkways should be readily available and routinely used. During warmer times of the year, tools used for clearing mud, dirt, rocks, pine needles, leaves, and any other conditions that could cause a slip and fall injury should be accessible, used frequently, and those using them should be trained on how to properly use them.
Unfortunately, this step can be the most expensive of all the steps. Normal wear-and-tear occurs for everything and this includes flooring. Carpet becomes worn out and begins to unravel. Hardwood flooring can buckle. Concrete can chip and become uneven. Taking care of the structural elements can often be the most important task in creating a space that is reasonably safe from slip and fall injuries. If these conditions are not dealt with properly, they can result in some of the most dangerous situations that cause accidents.
When dealing with a workplace environment it is important to make sure that employees are following all of the previously mentioned procedures but also wearing proper footwear. When slip and fall lawyers are looking at a case they will most definitely take the types of shoes that were worn into consideration. There should be proper policies in place to ensure that employees are using footwear that is appropriate for their situation. Heels, while acceptable in an office setting, are completely inappropriate for manufacturing floors, rough ground, or food prep areas. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that approximately 65% of all the work hours that are lost due to injuries at work are actually allocated to slip and fall injuries! Additionally, accidental deaths caused by slip and fall incidents are second only to motor vehicle accidental deaths, accounting for approximately 15% of all accidental deaths annually.
Even when being consciously aware of dangerous situations, there can be times when a precarious condition cannot be avoided by the victim. After experiencing a slip and fall injury it is essential to contact a slip and fall lawyer as it is vitally important to document all the details of the incident. Having handled over 28,000 personal injury cases, Rue & Ziffra knows what it takes to win a case, including what information needs to be documented, how to present the information in a lawsuit, and how to win the victim the maximum benefits that are due to them. As trusted and dependable slip and fall lawyers, Rue & Ziffra have always been passionate about going the distance when it comes to safeguarding their clients’ justice.