Slip and fall accidents are among the most common circumstances leading to personal injury claims. According to data published by the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls are the cause of 11% of workplace fatalities for men and 5% for women. If a person suffers injury due to a slip and fall in Virginia, he or she may be entitled to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. The most common factors leading to slip and fall injuries include wet floors, bad weather, medical neglect and uneven surfaces.
Wet floors and bad weather
Wet floors are an obvious problem that can cause slip-and-fall accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists water and grease spills, soap containers and drinking fountains as likely causes of dangerous wet floors. These are among the most preventable of this type of accident. Rain, snow and ice can also cause people to slip and fall. Businesses are legally required to make their walkways safe if possible. That might mean cleaning and salting walkways or placing warning signs.
In the case of medical neglect, the slip-and-fall accident might have nothing to do with the walking surface. Rather, elderly or incapacitated people are left alone even though they have difficulty standing or walking, leading to a slip and fall accident. Because of the individual’s weakened state at the time of the fall, these accidents often cause fractures or broken bones.
When a person encounters an uneven walking surface and they are not ready for it, a slip-and-fall accident may occur. Common slip and fall factors leading to uneven surface falls include damaged stairways, improperly laid mats, old or torn carpets, damaged sidewalks or loose flooring.
Premises liability laws establish that business owners may be liable for injuries to people who slip and fall on their property. The cause of the accident is often an important issue in such a case.