It can happen in a moment. You’re walking along when suddenly your feet slip out from under you and you fall to the ground. Even if you’re not seriously hurt, the shock can be enough to traumatize you for a few minutes until you can compose yourself. However, you may also begin to notice pain within a few seconds of the fall. Most of these accidents happen for a few reasons.
Water and ice are two main culprits for slip and fall accidents. It may be from a recently mopped floor or ice in the parking lot or on the sidewalk, but it only takes one step to cause you to fall. Recently waxed floors are also often more slippery and dangerous. Spills can lead to falls as well if they aren’t cleaned up quickly.
Cords and Cables in the Way
You may be walking along and fail to notice a cord run across the walkway until you trip over it and fall face-down. Property owners should make sure the cords to their equipment are placed in locations away from the public.
Uneven Flooring and Potholes
Whether you’re inside or out, it can be difficult to tell when the surface isn’t level. When you’re outside, you may step into a pothole or trip over a break in the asphalt or concrete. Inside, it can be that the floor just isn’t quite level along the seams. Cracks in the concrete in a store or warehouse can lead to falls. The eye isn’t trained to detect subtle differences in height as you walk along, which can lead to a stumble and fall.
Damaged or Uneven Stairs
Loose handrails or stairs that are varying heights can also cause you to fall. As you grip the stair rail, it moves just slightly, causing you to lose your balance. Stairs with loose boards are another hazard to watch out for. Even extra narrow or deep stairs can lead to falls when they aren’t uniform.
Many times, poor lighting can cause you not to see a trip hazard or an obstacle in your way. It can cast shadows that make it difficult to tell what is in front of you. Walking into a darkened area after being in bright sunlight can be almost blinding, which can make you have trouble focusing on your surroundings. You’re more likely to miss the crack in the concrete, the exposed cord or the wet floor.
Property owners have the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment for their customers and visitors. It’s all too easy to overlook issues like these when you’re comfortable in the environment. However, everyone should take the time to spot potential hazards before they occur for someone who isn’t as familiar with the space.
Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall accident has the right to seek medical care for their injuries. If it is determined that the property owner is to blame, they may be held liable for the expenses incurred.