What are the Top 10 Causes of Slip and Falls?
What are the Top 10 Causes of Slip and Falls?
Jan 11, 2023
A slip and fall may sound like a relatively minor accident requiring the victim to merely get up, shake off the dust, and keep moving. However, slip and falls commonly lead to serious and even catastrophic injuries that can be life-altering and require long-term medical care and assistance.
Top 10 Causes of Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Knowing the common causes of slip and fall accidents can help prevent them from occurring. In the sections below, we will review the most common ways victims experience slip or trip and fall accident injuries. We’ll also look at what types of injuries frequently result from slip and fall accidents and provide you with the information you need to file a claim for financial compensation if your incident was due to negligence on the part of an individual or entity (like a property management company).
What are the Top 10 Causes of Slip and Fall Accident Injuries?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a slip or trip and fall accident as occurring when you “catch your foot on or in something, and you fall when you come down suddenly.” And the ways in which slip and falls can happen vary considerably. Let’s look at the most common causes below.
Top 10 Reasons for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
- #1 – Human error/distraction: Environmental factors aren’t always a cause of slip and fall accidents. In fact, regular human error is one of the most common contributors to slip and fall injuries. Whether you’re distracted by viewing a screen and accidently trip over a piece of debris or are intoxicated and lose your balance unexpectedly, a slip and fall accident can lead to a serious injury.
- #2 – Wet or uneven surfaces: This is one of the most common culprits of slip and falls which regularly occurs in supermarkets, gas stations, and other public places. Whether it’s a spill in a grocery store aisle or a recently waxed floor that does not include a warning sign, a slip and fall occurring in this way may entitle the injured victim to a cash settlement for various damages.
- #3 – Weather: Ice, snow, rain, sleet, and hail can cause even the most cautious pedestrians to suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident. In fact, a recent study from Canada found that surgeries from slip and fall accidents actually increased as a result of inclement weather. Your risk of falling and suffering an injury spikes considerably during winter months in cold-weather areas where snow and ice are frequently a part of the daily forecast.
- #4 – Poor lighting: Parking lots and even high-traffic businesses like nightclubs and bars may not always provide proper lighting conditions – particularly during evening hours. As a result, slip or trip and fall accidents commonly occur when unsuspecting patrons do not see walking hazards like debris or decorative objects that would otherwise be avoided.
- #5 – Loose mats and rugs: A rug can be a great way to tie a room together, but if it’s not properly placed or maintained, it can be a slip and fall hazard. Furthermore, loose rugs and mats in public businesses like restaurants, hotels, and casinos often lead to slip or trip and fall accidents where victims sustain serious injuries. And when that occurs, you as the injured victim may be entitled to a cash settlement.
- #6 – Cords and electrical wires: This is an issue commonly seen on construction sites, and workers can experience slip and falls that leave them unable to continue with their employment duties. But these sorts of slip and fall accidents can also occur in public locations – often by patrons and passersby when construction or ‘location improvements’ are ongoing yet business continues as usual. Accordingly, if you’re injured due to an exposed cord or electrical wire and negligence was involved, you may have a valid civil claim for damages.
- #7 – Inadequate/improper footwear: Improper footwear can take many forms – from ill-fitting shoes to the wrong type of boot on a construction site to high heels on an ice-covered sidewalk. While a slip and fall due to improper footwear doesn’t always involve negligence (and therefore can’t always lead to a successful civil claim), there are cases where a shoe or work boot was improperly made or the piece of footwear simply breaks and causes an accident. When that occurs, you may want to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about filing a claim.
- #8 – Damaged stairs/handrails: Improperly maintained stairs and handrails are one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents – particularly in businesses, apartment complexes, and other high-traffic areas. If a broken staircase or handrail caused your slip and fall accident injury, you may be able to secure damages for things like medical expenses or pain and suffering via a civil lawsuit.
- #9 – Animals: At Dordulian Law Group, we often see injuries due to dog bites or attacks. But an animal can also cause a slip and fall accident just by being playful with an unsuspecting stranger or passerby. If you suffered an injury through such an encounter, contact our slip and fall attorneys today to discuss your case.
- #10 – Defective public walkways: A sidewalk or business entrance should be free of obstructions or any uneven surfaces which may pose a danger to pedestrians. If you suffered an injury as a result of an uneven, defective, or improperly maintained walkway, contact our experienced slip/trip and fall lawyers today for a free consultation.
Top 10 Tips to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents
While knowing the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is important, the CDC website also offers some tips to help avoid such injuries.
Top 10 Ways to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents
- Walk cautiously and with vigilance (particularly when conditions call for increased awareness – like during inclement weather or when surfaces have just been cleaned).
- If you see something you might slip or trip on in a public place, tell an employee or representative right away.
- Clean up spills and anything slippery (and avoid using cleaners that could make the floor slippery).
- Clear walkways, stairs, and lobbies of anything that might be a tripping hazard, such as cords, wires, empty boxes, and clutter.
- Make sure that floor mats lay flat rather than wrinkled or bunched.
- Use handrails when walking up and down steps.
- Before using any ladder or stepladder, make sure it opens fully.
- Check that ladder extensions are fully locked and that the ladder legs are stable on a flat, non-slippery surface.
- Clean off any slippery material on the rungs, steps, or feet of a ladder before you use it.
- Don’t go over the load limit noted on a ladder.
What are Some of the Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries?
Slip or trip and fall accidents often cause the victim to strike his or her back and/or head when crashing to the ground. Accordingly, some serious injuries can result through slip and fall accidents, such as:
- Hip fractures
- Concussions (MTBIs)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Knee damagev
- Cuts, scrapes, abrasions
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken or fractured bones
When serious injuries occur as a result of slip and falls that were due to negligence on the part of an individual or entity like a company/business/property manager, a civil claim for damages can help victims obtain the justice they deserve.
What is a Slip and Fall Injury Lawsuit?
Slip and fall civil claims are part of California personal injury law, which helps ensure that victims are made “whole” by recovering certain damages when negligence is involved:
- Hospital or medical care costs – past and future
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages/reduced earning capacity
- Punitive damages
- Emotional trauma or psychological harm
- Diminished quality of life
Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert slip and fall attorneys.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to a cash settlement through a civil lawsuit with Dordulian Law Group (DLG). Contact us today at 818-322-4056 to discuss your case. Consultations are always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We’ll review the facts of your claim, discuss all available legal options, give you an estimate for how long your case may take to settle, and also provide you with an overview for how much you can expect to recover through a maximum financial damages award.