When premises owners or occupiers in Virginia and around the country are sued over injuries suffered in slip-and-fall accidents, the plaintiffs are usually customers or visitors. When employees are hurt in these accidents, they file workers’ compensation claims instead of lawsuits. Taking steps to prevent slip-and-fall accidents is prudent because millions of dollars are awarded to premises liability lawsuit plaintiffs each year, and more than 25% of on-the-job injuries are caused by slips, trips or falls.
Slip-and-fall accident liability
Most slip-and-fall incidents are preventable. Premises owners or occupiers are held responsible in civil court for injuries suffered by visitors when they fail to take action to address dangerous conditions that they either knew about or should have known about. Injured employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits even when they, and not their employers, acted negligently. Slip-and-fall accidents are most commonly caused by spilled liquids, uneven walking surfaces or poor lighting.
Preventing slip-and-fall accidents
Conducting regular property inspections, mopping up spills quickly, filling parking lot potholes and replacing or repairing uneven floor boards or paving stones are steps that can be taken to prevent slip-and-fall accidents and fall injuries. When a dangerous condition cannot be addressed right away, prominent signs should be paced to warn visitors and employees about the hazard. Premises owners or occupiers can also prevent accidents by making sure that walkways, stairwells and curbs are properly illuminated.
An unnecessary expense
Slip-and-fall accidents cost businesses millions of dollars each year in personal injury lawsuit damages and workers’ compensation claims. This is usually an unnecessary expense because most slip-and-fall accidents are preventable. To avoid these costs, premises owners or occupiers should inspect their properties regularly to make sure that they are aware of any dangerous conditions, and they should take the steps necessary to prevent injuries when dangerous conditions are discovered.