What Conditions Could Cause A Slip And Fall To Occur?
One of the most common conditions that we encounter lead to slip and fall accidents is poor lighting. Whether it’s a retail or commercial bar, a food restaurant, a retail or shopping store, a parking lot or even a private home, poor lighting may lead to needless injuries and even incidents of preventable death. Proper lighting sometimes requires the help of an engineering or architectural expert to address safety needs. If the lighting has not been properly and safely addressed, evaluated or inspected, issues such as the specific lighting system, the bulbs or wattage, or the maintenance and inspection of hardware or replacement when equipment is worn or broken, then a slip and fall accident exposure is increased and is likely to occur. I just finished a case where an apartment complex failed to repair a broken bulb above a sidewalk. The broken bulb went unaddressed and uninspected for more time than it should. A nice lady was severely injured when she did not see a crack in the sidewalk due to the poor lighting. The lady’s foot struck the crack causing her body to be thrown forward without warning and she landed on her mouth and face. Her mouth and face were injured badly. I was able to make the insurance company for that apartment complex make a money offer to settle the injury lawsuit and ultimately settle that case for that nice lady.
A safe owner or occupier constructing or maintaining stairs has to consider the choice of tread material for the stairs, as well as the flooring material. It will be necessary to ensure that the stairs meet the safety guidelines and the conditions of the area where the stairs are located, whether they are inside or outside. Some stairways are required to have handrails, and without them, injuries are more likely to occur. Sometimes owners fail to put the rails on the stairs, even if the international building code requires them. Other times, rails are removed after inspections for matters of convenience.
I’ve handled several construction site-related slip and falls that occurred because construction areas were not properly inspected by a general contractor or a sub-contractor leading to a dangerous condition. Construction site slip and fall or trip and fall injuries can be especially dangerous to workers on the site when there are holes, gaps or heavy equipment around the slip hazard and the hazard is not safely taken care of by the company responsible to do so. These hazards and unsafe conditions create the possibility for an injury or death to workers who are constructing the various phases of the work.
In my opinion, owners or managers of stores that sell liquids or allow liquids to be brought into the store knowingly create a hazardous condition and should have their employees inspect the floor for substances that pose a risk of causing injury. Knowing this hazard, and failing to enforce inspection plans through the employees of a store will and does lead to unsafe conditions and preventable injuries. If a store owner allows this hazard to exist and fails to take real safety precautions, and if a customer or an employee of the store sustains an injury, then the company and the insurer of that company is responsible for compensating the injured party for their injuries and losses.
In San Antonio and many other cities, many grocery stores use hard tile or cement flooring for claims of easy cleaning and durability. Depending on the mop and waxing procedures of the store, any slippery food or liquid remaining on the floor can create a dangerous condition for both young and older customers. Proper inspection and adherence to slip-resistant policies and procedures is necessary for the safety of the public and employees of the store. It’s important that the attorney discover or know these policies and procedures to help the injured claimant or injured customer validate their slip and fall injury claim.
Retail stores and product manufacturers want customers to visit their stores. They and their vendors urge people to buy their products, and they spend millions of dollars in advertising to try to draw attention to specific products while customers are shopping. In comparison, they don’t direct as much attention or service toward the floor area or lower aisles of stores where customers will be walking inside the store. Owners and Employee of stores know that store items will fall onto their store floor, and that store items will break and leak onto the floor. They also know that hundreds (if not thousands) of customers visit some stores daily. Store owners and thru their managers have a responsibility to see that the floors are safe for customers, their employees and their families. If stores were to watch and inspect the floors as much as they watch and inspect the cashier’s register, there would be fewer accidents and injuries to customers and employees.
Not only are large retail stores subject to these safety rules, but hospitals and large institutions must also make their property safe from slip and falls as well. In one recent case I handled, a liquid medical waste material was improperly bagged, causing it to leak onto a hospital floor as it was being carted or transported down the hall. The leaky substance was clear and slippery on a grey tile floor. Our client was visiting a sick patient when they walked down the hospital hallway toward the hospital room and unknowingly stepped onto the liquid and fell. The fall caused serious head and back injuries. We found hospital administration rules that showed a clear violation of the bagging and transportation protocol. The case led to a fair settlement for our client.
For more information on Conditions That Cause A Slip & Fall, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (210) 225-2828 today.
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