Slip and fall accidents are not unusual and they can happen anytime and anywhere, including in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, in a shopping mall or any other location where you may encounter an unsafe condition.
The term “slip and fall” refers to situations where an individual trips or slips while walking on any public or private property and subsequently suffers serious injuries. These types of situations may occur in circumstances involving wet floors, poor lighting, damaged carpeting, hidden hazards or snow and ice.
Individuals often assume they are at fault for a slip and fall accident. However, this is not always the case. In fact, business owners, landlords, property owners and even employees may all play a role and can be held responsible for the accident.
The consequences of a slip and fall accident can range from minor bruises to sprains and strains, and in the most serious cases a spinal injury. It is always a good idea to visit your doctor following any type of injury.
Most slip and fall accidents can be prevented
In Canada, falls are the leading cause of preventable injury and can be quite serious, especially for young children and older adults.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, nearly 41 Albertans per 100,000 were hospitalized following a slip and fall accident between 2011 and 2016.
Slip and fall accidents are a serious public health problem as they are extremely common and costly. Fortunately, the majority of slip and fall accidents are avoidable. Business and property owners should take the time necessary to keep their properties safe for their customers, employees and guests in order to prevent many of these preventable accidents from occurring.
The following are a few ways in which property owners can help avoid unnecessary slip and fall accidents:
If floors are being cleaned or waxed, it is important to post wet floor caution signs to notify pedestrians of an area where they should take caution or avoid altogether.
Property owners should fix any existing defects in the floor, such as cracks or uneven walking surfaces, or provide warning of the unsafe conditions to pedestrians.
Any spills on walking surfaces should be addressed and cleaned up as soon as they occur to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Property owners should ensure that regular inspections take place to check for hazardous conditions in order to avoid the risk of a slip and fall.
Address Weather Conditions
Shoveling snow and applying salt to icy areas where pedestrians travel are necessary measures that should be taken to address winter weather conditions.
Install Proper Lighting
Proper lighting should be installed and routinely inspected to keep all walking surfaces illuminated and free of hazards.
Common causes of slip and fall accidents
Victims of slip and fall injuries that take place on property owned by another individual may be eligible to file a slip and fall lawsuit. These types of accidents may be caused by a wide range of situations, some of which include the following:
Wet and Uneven Walking Surfaces
Wet and uneven surfaces are often the cause of slip and fall accidents that take place in commercial, industrial and even domestic settings. The following are a few examples of hazardous walking surfaces that cause the majority of accidents:
- Loose floorboards;
- Loose mats;
- Worn out carpeting;
- Freshly waxed or mopped surfaces;
- Defective sidewalks;
- Parking lot potholes;
- Poorly constructed staircases; and
- Cluttered floors.
Although weather is impossible to control, it is important that property owners and those responsible for the premises take the necessary precautions to keep their property safe for visitors and guests. This includes shoveling sidewalks and salting walkways during the winter season.
Broken and Damaged Handrails
Handrails are fixed to posts or walls to support individuals as they walk on pavements or up and down staircases. Stairways are a common source of falls. Broken or absent handrails can often be associated with injuries. If you have suffered an accident due to the lack of handrails or broken handrails, you deserve to be compensated.
One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is poor lighting. Proper lighting improves vision, especially for those walking at night. It is especially important to have properly illuminated walkways, sidewalks and staircases to make it easier for those walking on your property to do so safely.
Debris in an Aisle
One of the most common causes of a slip and fall that occurs in a store is caused by debris on the ground. Debris, food products, produce or liquid which has fallen onto the floor can be responsible for a customer’s slip and fall.
Stores owe their customers a duty of reasonable care and to keep them reasonably safe while on the premises. There is a duty to perform inspections and to identify dangerous conditions. Wet floor caution signs should also be displayed to warn customers of any hazardous conditions.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured In A Fall?
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall as the result of the negligence of a third party, it is very important to seek appropriate medical attention and to document all of your medical injuries. Keeping a diary of your daily pain levels is also a good way to help document your pain and suffering.
Injuries suffered as a result of a slip or trip and fall can result in expensive medical bills, loss of income and long-term recovery expenses. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to seek advice and discuss your potential claim. An experienced and qualified lawyer can help guide you and ensure that you are taking the proper steps in order to receive the compensation you need to recover from your slip and fall injury.
Contact Cuming & Gillespie LLP if You Have Been Injured as a result of a Slip, Trip or Fall Accident
If you have been injured in a slip, trip or fall due to the negligence of a third party, please contact the experienced Calgary personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP
online or by phone at 403-571-0555. It is important that you call us promptly so we can help you understand your rights and the potential to recover compensation for your injuries. Call our office for a free consultation to determine how we can help you following your slip and fall injury.