Injury type: Sprains, fractures, broken bone, traumatic brain injury, or wrongful death. Severity of injury increase with age.
Causes: Slipping on spilled liquid, snow or other material. Tripping over items such as loose flooring or electrical cord or hole in ground hidden by grass. Falling when loose stair railing fails to provide balance.
Prevention: In the workplace: businesses and homeowners should maintain safe premises. Hazards like water on floor should be mopped up; tripping hazards like clutter on floor should be removed. Safety training should be provided for workers.
Personal prevention: Regular physical activity helps with coordination and wear shoes with nonstick soles. Take Calcium and Vitamin D for bone health.
Treatment: Varies with injury and includes sutures for cuts, medication, splint for breaks. Hospitalization may be required; rehabilitation includes possible physical therapy.
Related topics: Personal Injury, Occupational Disease, Construction Site Accidents, Premises Liability
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall refers to the injury that occurs after a dangerous or hazardous condition causes a person to slip, trip or fall while on someone else’s property. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 303,800 workplace fall injuries in 2000, and the Department of Labor said 15 percent of incidental workplace deaths are caused by slips, trips and falls. Incidents also occur outdoors and in businesses and residences. Slip and fall dangers include spilled liquid on a supermarket floor, inadequate lighting in a parking lot, loose stair railings and snow. Property owners may be to blame if they knew or should have known about a hazard like a hole in the ground that was hidden by grass.
Supermarkets Especially Prone to Slip and Fall Injuries
Going to the market isn’t just for dinner anymore…in fact, supermarkets are often the site of dangerous slip and fall injuries. A study from the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) of Southlake, Texas has stated that supermarkets and grocery stores pay over $450 million in legal expenses and settlements each year due to slip and fall injuries. With both customers and employees at risk, it’s no wonder that slip and fall injuries are the leading cause of injury in supermarkets. But why are these injuries so common? And what rights do injured workers and customers have surrounding these potentially dangerous slip and fall accidents?
Victims Over 60 At Higher Risk
Given the preponderance of spilled liquids, loose items and runaway carts at grocery stores and supermarkets, it is not surprising that slip and fall injuries are a danger to customers and employees. But a more surprising result of the NFSI’s study is that women ages 60 and over are far more prone to suffering serious injury due to slip and fall accidents. Grocery store falls take place most often in crowded entry areas, where water is often tracked into the store and not cleaned up as easily or quickly as promotes optimal safety. In addition, the high polish on most supermarket floors means that it is hard to detect stray liquids. In addition, some store areas, such as the produce section, are hosed down with water on a regular basis, while refrigerated areas in a supermarket or grocery store may have leaking equipment that leads to fall risks.
Victims’ Rights in Slip and Fall Injuries
It is a grocery store or supermarket’s obligation to provide a safe space for customers to walk and to prevent slip and fall injuries to the best of their ability. Supermarkets should close off or otherwise designate unsafe and slippery areas using cones or other devices, and should have employees on hand to patrol potential danger zones for possible slip and fall dangers. If the unavoidable does occur, you still have rights, whether you are a customer or an employee.
If you are a customer, inform the store manager as soon as possible, and get that person’s contact information. Seek medical attention immediately to determine whether you have suffered injury. If the store refuses to compensate you for your slip and fall related injuries, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury attorney can help you recover the damages and compensation you deserve after a slip and fall injury. This can include, but is not limited to, attorney’s fees, medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on the job, inform a supervisor as soon as possible. Fill out the proper paperwork and consult with your employer’s doctor. If your injury is not thoroughly addressed by the company’s designated medical facility, or you suffer loss of wages and minimized mobility after a slip and fall injury, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. An employer will typically try to resolve a workers’ compensation claim through its insurer, but you may wish to have legal representation to make sure your rights are upheld and you are given the care and compensation you deserve.