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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