Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ comp lawsuits as well as a job-related injury for persons aged 55+, according to NFSI. Another survey by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that floors and flooring materials contribute directly to over 2 million fall injuries annually. In 2005, CDC reported that 15,000+ people aged 65 and over died due to falls and that 1.8 million people in the same age bracket were treated in an emergency room after a fall.
But the question is, why are these falls happening?
To answer that question, let’s have a look at the common causes of slips and falls accidents in stores:
Wet and uneven floors
When the surface is uneven or if it has liquid on it, it can cause someone to slide and fall. The National Floor Safety Institute reveals that 55% of all slip and fall incidents are as a result of dangerous floors. This could mean anything from cluttered floors to torn carpeting to poorly constructed staircases to potholes on the parking lot and so on. Defective sidewalks, loose floorboards, recently waxed, or mopped floors are also often reported by people who slipped and fell in a store or any other premise.
Weather changes are natural occurrences, so no one has control over. But still, this doesn’t make them less harmless. Winters are especially notorious when it comes to weather-related accidents. Many slip and fall cases are reported along walkways, steps, streets, and even sidewalks. Wet surfaces (from people’s wet shoes) can also lead to falls in the store.
Obstacles on walking path or aisle
This one is a no brainer. When passageways and work areas are not clean and orderly, people are bound to stumble and fall. For instance, if the store has cables and cords running across walking areas or hallways, it raises the chances of people tripping and hurting themselves. The same applies to when there are boxes and other obstacles, like open cabinet drawers along the walkway.
Poor lighting and lack of signs
Visibility is critical for day to day operations. When people cannot see where they are going, they may not know whether there’s an obstacle on the way or if the surface is slippery, among other things. Lack of signs like “Slippery floor” or “mind your head” can also lead to slip and fall accidents.
Wearing shoes that are inappropriate for a specific activity – like high heels while cleaning the store, etc., can also result in an accident. Failing to tie the shoelaces is also potentially hazardous. In addition to improper shoes, there is also the aspect of not understanding the risky areas. Grocery stores, for instance, are especially notorious for slip and fall because of the hard floors, wet items, and freezers.
If you slipped and fell in a store but have reason to believe it happened due to someone else’s negligence, then you could file a claim against the responsible party for your losses. Finding an excellent personal injury lawyer can go a long way in helping you get the most out of the process.