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Slip and Fall Accidents: What Are the Most Common Scenarios?

caution wet floor sign at a corridorIf slipping and falling seems like a minor accident that can’t do serious harm, think again. Slipping, tripping, and falling causes 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States. Only car crashes cause more fatalities.

What are the most common scenarios in which people slip and fall? Here are the top 5.

Number 1: Poorly Maintained Walking Surfaces

The leading reason people slip and fall is poor maintenance of surfaces. Whether it’s uneven or rough concrete sidewalks that have been inadequately repaired, cobblestones with uneven surfaces, area rugs that have not been properly secured to the floor, or loose tiles, floor surfaces can cause people to fall despite their best efforts. This is particularly true if people have no visible clue that their walking surfaces might be hazardous, as with unsecured area rugs or loose tiles.

Number 2: Wet surfaces

The second most common reason people slip and fall are wet surfaces. Whether it’s a building lobby that is wet from boots and shaken umbrellas or a grocery store floor wet from a broken bottle of salad dressing, wet surfaces can be treacherous.

Number 3: Weather

Weather creates precarious conditions in which tripping and falling is common. Ice and snow are easy to slip and fall on, particularly if the areas have not been shoveled or salted. Black ice may not be visible, and cause slips and falls. In addition, coming in from bad sun glare, whether off of snow or in the height of summer, can make visibility difficult, so can cause slips and falls.

Number 4: Poor Lighting

Low, no, or insufficient lighting in areas where people have to walk can be very dangerous and cause people to slip and fall simply because they can’t see. They may not be able to see hazards, like rough sidewalks, broken concrete, or potholes. Poor lighting may also cause people to misjudge distances stepping over curbs or walking on stairs. Slipping and falling can result.

Number 5: Inadequate Training in Commercial Establishments

When conditions that can lead to slips and falls occur, owners of commercial establishments have a responsibility to fix those conditions. Store managers, landlords, and property owners are obligated to make reasonable efforts to keep conditions safe for visitors. They need to train employees to place safety cones around wet areas, for example, and mop up liquids. Lighting needs to be installed or repaired. Snow and ice needs to be removed.

If You’ve Had a Slip and Fall Accident

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have had years of experience litigating premises liability and injury cases. We can help you with any slip and fall accident, whatever the circumstances.

Our initial consultation is complimentary. We will discuss your case and potential next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island slip and fall lawyer today.

Additional “slip and fall causes” resources:

  1. Carnegie-Mellon University. Environmental Health and Safety. Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention. https://www.cmu.edu/ehs/occupational-office/workplace-safety/slip-trip-fall.html
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Workplace Solutions. Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wholesale and Retail Trade Establishments. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2013-100/pdfs/2013-100.pdf

What To Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall

Falls causing injury are dangerous. They caused approximately 32,000 deaths in homes and public places during 2014, the last year for which statistics are available. In workplaces, falls caused nearly 600 additional deaths and 47,000 injuries.

Accidents in which people slip and fall as a result are called “slip and fall” accidents. If they happen in a public place, what should you do? If your slip and fall was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, such as a corporation, it is possible to bring a suit for damages. The suits can cover medical costs, lost wages and other financial and emotional costs.

Negligence in a slip and fall

Proving negligence, however, is not necessarily easy or straightforward. The law states that, for another person or entity to be responsible for someone’s slip and fall, the other person or entity had to have caused the slip and fall and be responsible for the safe maintenance of the area.

So if, for example, a carton of eggs fell on a grocery floor due to a careless stockperson and was not cleaned up, a slippage on the broken eggs could be the store’s responsibility. If another customer drops a carton of eggs, though, he or she would not be legally responsible, as the maintenance of the store is not the customer’s responsibility.

The other person or entity also needed to know that a condition that could cause someone to slip and fall existed, and to have had reasonable time to fix the situation. If a store’s walkways become covered with snow, it is the store’s responsibility to clear and salt the area. But they must have had reasonable time to do so. Slipping and falling during a snowstorm or immediately after one has stopped may cause a jury to rule that a storeowner did not have sufficient time to make the area safe.

A court case must also prove that a reasonable person would have known about the situation and would have perceived a duty to fix it. If a sidewalk in an apartment complex is in poor repair and difficult to walk on, the jury would presumably find that a hypothetical reasonable person would find the sidewalk dangerous.

In the event of a slip and fall

If you have a slip and fall accident, there are three things you should do.

1. Document Any Injuries

It is important to have a record of any injuries, including bruises. If you have a smartphone, take pictures immediately. Bruises can fade and cuts can heal. A court needs to have evidence that personal damage was caused.

Document where, when, and why the slip and fall occurred. Write it down immediately while your memory is still fresh.

If you do not have a smartphone or other camera, write down what your injuries were.

2. Report It to the Responsible Party

Report any injury to the responsible party. If it occurs in a store, report it to the store’s manager before you leave. If your landlord, report it to the landlord’s representative as soon as possible.

First, you want the situation rectified if the responsible party doesn’t know about it. Second, you want a record of what occurred. A jury could question why any incident wasn’t reported.

3. Seek Medical Attention

It’s wise to seek medical attention for any fall. A physician should look at any injury, bruise, or other damage. First, you may need medical attention, even if you feel okay. Second, again, the record is important.

Speak with a Long Island slip and fall attorney

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned personal injury attorneys who will fight for justice if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall.

Our initial consultation is free. We will advise you on your case and potential next steps. Call 1-800-469-7429 for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island slip and fall lawyer today.

Additional slip and fall injury resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Slips, Trips and Falls. http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Slips-Trips-and-Falls.pdf
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls Are Leading Cause of Injury and Death in Older Americans. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0922-older-adult-falls.html

Pool Safety Campaign Addresses Child Drownings

More than 75 percent of the drownings and pool-related injuries from 2012-2016 involved children younger than 5 years of age, states a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This public health crisis is the focus of a new Pool Safely campaign, launched jointly by the CPSC and the Michael Phelps Foundation. Since its launch more than 7 years ago, the Pool Safely campaign has cultivated over 1,000 partners that assist in public outreach and education to help parents and families learn more about safety measures in and around pools and spas.

Some of the campaign partners include notable organizations like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Walmart, the U.S. YMCA, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Red Cross, and the Boy Scouts of America. The goal of this nationwide initiative is to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas.

“We are making progress, but we need even more kids taking swim lessons, more adults serving as Water Watchers, more fences installed, and more people trained in CPR.  Today’s swimming lesson with Michael and his Foundation serves as a reminder of the importance of all children learning how to swim—no matter where they live or what their circumstance,” said CPSC Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle in a recent press release.

Fatal drownings and pool-related injuries

Recent statistics on pool drownings and injuries underscore the need for pool owners and operators to have proper safety measures in place. A staggering 50 percent of all drownings and pool injuries in children under 15 years of age happen at home, reports the CPSC.  Public or community swimming pools were the site of the majority of drownings in kids under the age of 9.

In order to keep children safe this summer and beyond, pool owners are encouraged to review the following checklist:

  • Never leave children unattended in a pool
  • Designate a “water watcher” if a lifeguard is not on duty
  • Install a safety barrier (at least 4-feet tall) around the perimeter of the pool
  • Use self-closing gates that open outward from the pool
  • Ensure pool water, equipment and surroundings are properly maintained and free of hazards
  • For those with an above ground pool, ensure the ladder is removed and the pool covered when not in use.

Pool owner liability

Safety authorities say that insufficient pool barriers and lack of supervision are the two leading causes of drowning and injury accidents among young children, particularly in residential pool settings. When proper precautions are not taken, and death or injury occurs, pool owners and operators may be held liable in a court of law.

Failing to install a perimeter fence, leaving your pool gate unlocked, allowing small children to swim without supervision, or failing to prevent access to your swimming pool may be considered acts of negligence. In addition, New York State law mandates that every swimming pool constructed or modified after 2006 must be equipped with a pool alarm that can detect when a child enters the water. Pool owners must also make sure that all suction outlets are covered to prevent entrapment.

New York personal injury lawyers

In the event of an accidental drowning or injury at a swimming pool or spa, it’s important to understand your legal rights to compensation. The law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye offers confidential case reviews and can quickly determine if you have grounds to bring a civil claim for damages under theories of premises liability. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Long Island premises liability attorney, we invite you to call us toll-free at 1-800-469-7429.

Additional Pool Safety Resources:

  1. US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Pool Safely and Michael Phelps Foundation Announce Partnership to Help Families Stay Safer In and Around Pools and Spas https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2017/Pool-Safely-and-Michael-Phelps-Foundation-Announce-Partnership-to-Help-Families-Stay-Safer-In-and-Around-Pools-and-Spas
  2. US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Pool or Spa Submersion: Estimated Nonfatal Drowning Injuries and Reported Drownings, 2017 Report https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Pool_Spa_Submersion_Estimated_nonfatal_drowning_injuries_and_reported_dornwings_2017_report_2017H004.pdf
  3. NY Gov, Current Requirements for Swimming Pools Contained in the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/pdf/PoolsumUC0708.pdf

Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in New York

New York Slip and Fall Lawyers If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the reckless disregard of an irresponsible New York property owner, filing a lawsuit may be a course of action that you should consider.

It is important, however, to locate New York slip and fall lawyers with the experience and success-rate that will ensure the best possible outcome for your case.  Edelman, Krasin & Jaye has been bringing our considerable resources to court for clients since 1952 and we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Slip and fall accidents in NY

If you have slipped on, tripped over, or fallen from part of a property belonging to another party, the owner of that property may be liable for your injury if he or she allowed an uneven, worn, wet, or slippery surface to endanger you and cause your accident.  Accidents can take place because a spill renders a walkway slippery, because the surface of a walkway is uneven or worn enough to cause someone to trip, because a space is unreasonably cluttered, or because some part of the environment is damaged or faulty, allowing for someone to fall through or because of it.

To be liable, the responsible party would need to have known about the hazard for some time, but have done nothing about it; moreover, the hazard needs to have been something that a “reasonable” person would have taken care of in order to maintain a safe environment.  And the party suffering the accident would have had to have used the environment in the manner in which it was intended.

If the injured party is able to prove in court that another is liable for the accident, he or she may be able to claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, or other damages, depending on the nature and extent of the injuries.

New York slip and fall lawyers:  how they can help

Don’t try to undertake slip and fall litigation on your own.  NY slip and fall attorneys who have relevant experience and resources are crucial to the success of your case and can take you through the necessary steps:

  • Filing a complaint
  • The discovery phase (in which both sides learn as much as they can about the other)
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Mediation (in which a settlement may be negotiated)
  • The trial itself (2-5 days, usually)

Attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Kaye can help demonstrate that the accident was the result of the poorly maintained property and that the owner knew about the problem and did nothing about it.  We can take care of paperwork, calling witnesses if necessary, and working through the legal details, in order to get you maximum compensation.

Expert legal advice for slip & fall victims

If you have suffered a slip and fall injury, call us at 1-800-469-7429 to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our NY slip and fall lawyers.  We can discuss your potential premises liability case and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, we work on contingency:  we don’t get paid unless we procure a settlement or jury award for you!