Accidental injury is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, accidental injuries can be blamed for an injury every second of the day and one preventable death every three minutes. Accidental injuries may be caused by any number of events, including slip and fall accidents.
A slip and fall accident may cause severe or even fatal injuries. These types of incidents were responsible for 41,300 (26%) of all preventable deaths in homes and communities in 2020. While you can fall and suffer an injury anywhere, here are some of the more common locations where slip and fall accidents happen:
Grocery Stores and Retail Establishments
There is a reason many people associate slip and fall accidents with grocery stores. The average grocery store is filled with many slip and fall hazards. Puddles or slippery substances coating the floor are not at all uncommon in grocery stores and may be traced back to:
- Spilled beverages or other liquids
- Accumulated puddles from spraying water on fresh produce
- Broken or leaking freezer units
Slipping hazards can be present at the entrances of both grocery stores and retail establishments. Customers can track water in when it is raining, which may then accumulate around the entrances, creating a slipping hazard.
Floor mats meant to catch tracked-in water, dirt, and mud can also be hazardous if they are not properly cared for. Customers can trip on old, worn out, or improperly placed mats if they are buckled or warped in the middle or if the edges are upturned and do not lay flat.
Grocery store and retail owners and managers should be acutely aware of the potential fall risks in their establishments. They should implement safeguards intended to minimize the number of slip and fall hazards and train their employees on how to handle something like a spill or leak when it occurs.
Sidewalks and Parking Lots
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can happen when sidewalks and parking lots are poorly:
Sidewalks with large cracks and raised pieces of pavement can pose a dangerous tripping hazard that may lead to injuries like broken bones, lacerations, and more. These same types of hazards can also be found in parking lots, where motor vehicles are an added obstacle for anyone on foot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four people aged 65 and older falls each year. One out of every five of these falls will lead to a severe injury, like a broken bone or a head injury. More than 3 million older Americans go to the emergency room every year for falls. More than 800,000 are then hospitalized.
While many older individuals continue to live independent, healthy lives, many also rely on the full-time care and support that can be found in a nursing home. Reasons for nursing home falls include:
- Inadequate supervision
- Improper changes in medication
- Cluttered walkways
- Poor lighting
If your family trusted a nursing home to care for your loved one only to learn that they were injured in a preventable slip and fall accident, you may have legal options.
Stairs are a common feature of most buildings, businesses, homes, and cities. Whether you are climbing a flight of stairs to the next floor or taking only a few steps up to a porch, you probably use stairs much more often than you realize. Stairs can be notoriously dangerous when it comes to slip, trip, and fall hazards, though.
Injuries associated with falls on stairs are often severe, as victims may strike their heads or other body parts on the steps or wall on the way down, and then again when they land on even ground. You may be at risk for severe bodily injury, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and more if you’re climbing stairs with:
- Insufficient lighting
- Loose or nonexistent railings
- Torn or loose carpet
- Uneven steps
A restaurant might do everything in its power to make you feel welcomed, but the reality is that they’d ideally like you to leave in 45 minutes or less. That is 45 minutes to get you seated, take your order, bring you your food, ring you up, and then get you on your way. With every server, host, cook, and busser doing their best to get your lunch or dinner party in and then out, there are plenty of opportunities for something to go wrong.
All it takes is one missed spill or overlooked tripping hazard for you to suffer a serious or even lifelong injury.
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident, you should seek medical care right away. Have a trusted friend or family member drive you to the emergency room for an evaluation or call 911 if you are unable to move or are worried you suffered a particularly severe injury.
Do not let the fear of medical bills hold you back from getting the care you need. If you were hurt on another person’s property in Jackson, MS (whether commercial or residential), Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC may be able to help you pursue legal options if it can be proven that negligence was the cause of your fall. To learn how we can help, contact us today so we can schedule your free consultation.