Brian White | November 27, 2023 | Slip and Fall
A slip and fall accident can happen quickly and without warning, but the effects of your injuries may be felt for a long time afterward. Slip and falls can happen for many reasons, and the cause of your accident can play a significant role in your claim for compensation.
Determining the cause and liability for a slip and fall can be particularly challenging. A personal injury attorney can investigate to uncover pertinent information to get you one step closer to fair financial recovery.
What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents Most Often?
Slip and fall accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. The cause often depends on the location of the incident.
These accidents can happen just about anywhere, but some of the sites where slip and falls most often occur include:
- Shopping malls
- Retail stores
- Grocery stores
- Hotels and resorts
- Stadiums and arenas
- Amusement and water parks
- Office buildings
- Apartment complexes
- Parking lots and garages
Determining the cause of your slip and fall is critical, as it helps establish who is at fault for your accident. Proving cause and liability are key to recovering monetarily for your resulting injuries.
Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents are listed below.
Flooring and Surface Conditions
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that flooring throughout the premises is in good shape to help prevent any potential accidents. Loose floorboards, rugs, and lifted or wrinkled carpeting can easily cause an unsuspecting victim to trip and fall.
Surfaces should also be clean and free of any substances that could result in a fall. Flooring should be dry, and if for any reason it’s not, or if it’s recently been mopped or waxed, visible warning signs should be present to give visitors adequate notice.
Outside, concrete and asphalt should be even and void of any cracks and large holes. Falls in parking lots, sidewalks, and garages often result from dangerous ground conditions.
Fall victims don’t always slip. Sometimes, they trip over items on the ground they don’t see. Cords, wiring, trash, and debris can all cause someone to trip. If there are tripping hazards present inside or outside, property owners should post signage to warn visitors and avoid unnecessary accidents.
Environmental factors, like harsh weather, can make falls more likely, especially if property owners neglect to clean up and ensure walking areas are safe.
After a storm, walkways may be wet and slippery, and debris may have fallen, presenting tripping hazards. Snow and ice can form in the winter, and this is especially hazardous on stairs and ramps.
At night, lighting is crucial to help visitors see where they’re going, especially outside. When there is little to no lighting, it’s harder for people to see dangers that could be in their way. This can result in falls and injuries.
Lack of Safety Rails
Safety railings, like handrails and banisters, serve multiple purposes. They are available to help individuals hold on and maintain their balance and serve as protection to prevent falls.
When rails and banisters are damaged or missing, it can be easier for visitors to fall. Additionally, without guardrails, falls from heights are common. These accidents often result in more severe injuries and long-term disabilities.
Injuries Common to Slip and Fall Accidents
A fall might not seem like much of a serious incident, but it could be. Falls can cause extensive physical harm and lead to long-term consequences.
Slip and fall victims often face the following injuries:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Knee injuries
- Hip injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may face a long recovery. Some injuries, like brain and spinal cord injuries, have the potential to worsen and could cause permanent repercussions, like cognitive issues and paralysis.
Seeking compensation after a slip and fall becomes even more important as your medical bills quickly pile up. Getting proper treatment is key to healing, but it can also add a substantial financial burden you weren’t expecting. Filing a claim can help you recover monetarily for the at-fault party’s negligence.
Determining Liability for a Slip and Fall
Typically, the property owner or tenant of the location where your fall occurred would be responsible. Holding a party responsible means establishing their negligence. When a party is negligent, it means they owed you a specific duty and failed to uphold it. For slip and fall cases, you must determine what duty they owed you.
The duties of an owner or occupier depend on your legal status at the time of your incident. You must figure out whether you were an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
Invitees are invited onto the property, typically for business and financial reasons. When visiting a grocery or retail store, for example, you’re an invitee. Owners and tenants owe invitees the highest duty of care to inspect the premises for potential risks to visitors and provide warnings for such dangers.
Licensees, on the other hand, are invited onto property for non-business reasons. Visiting a friend in their home would classify you as a licensee. Owners and occupiers owe licensees a duty to warn of known dangers on the property. However, they don’t have to inspect the premises like they do for invitees.
Trespassers have no legal right to be on the property. Generally, owners and tenants don’t owe trespassers any duty to inspect or warn of potential dangers, and they aren’t usually liable if the trespasser suffers injury.
Based on the cause of your fall and the duty owed to you, you can determine liability and prove the party’s negligence. Establishing fault is necessary to recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Houston Slip & Fall Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
If you’ve sustained harm in a slip and fall accident, don’t wait to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. A lawyer can provide much-needed guidance and representation throughout your case to get you the best possible result for your premises liability case by calling (713) 500-5000.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
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Houston, TX 77098
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