We all know that slip and fall accidents are common enough for them to be a feature of movies and television—generally as part of a joke. However, most individuals would not think that slip and fall incidents with serious outcomes are very common; for the most part, it is assumed that a slip and fall is a fairly minor incident, with injuries usually including bruises or other non-emergency and short-term pain. However, the statistics do not reflect this belief—they contradict it. Slip and fall accidents are a very common occurrence, and the results of those falls frequently results in long-term injury and pain to the victim. It’s astonishing to think that an incident with such serious consequences happens so frequently when a few minor precautions on the part of property owners can prevent it. Consider contacting a Boca Raton personal injury attorney for more details as to what your rights may be, if you have experienced a slip and fall injury due to the negligence of a property owner.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, or fall injury every year. Of that number, shockingly, almost 17,000 people die as a result of their injuries. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal medically treated injuries in the United States every year. Consider also that slip and falls are the number one cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants, and public buildings; and that 70% of those incidents occur on flat or level surfaces. Wet or damp floors are not the only cause of slip, trip, and fall accidents that occur annually. Clutter, footwear, and improper cleaning are also common hazards that create dangerous situations. Some reports even cite the material that makes up the floor as a major contributing factor, stating that almost 50% of facility accidents can actually be attributed to the type of flooring that is being used.
Depending on the geographic location of the property, another common factor that influences slip and fall accidents can be the time of year. In Florida, for example, the summer is rainy season, which increases incidents of individuals slipping—if precautions are not taken, water tracked in by previous visitors can create a dangerous condition for those that follow, leading to a slip. In areas that have heavy winters, snow, sleet, and other winter conditions often lead to higher occurrences of slip and fall accidents, which property owners should take into consideration. Salting or sanding customer walkways and taking care to minimize the amount of melting snow or water that is tracked inside of the premises can reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents greatly.
While most individuals believe that slip and falls are generally rather minor accidents, not requiring a great deal of medical attention, this is not borne out by the statistics available. According to a study by Liberty Mutual, conducted in 2006, the average cost from slip and falls was $22,800 per accident—a figure that does not take into consideration the amount of lifelong support that slip and fall victims sometimes require. Some injuries that can result from a slip and fall accident include permanent spinal damage, head and brain injuries resulting in disability, and broken bones. If you have experienced a slip and fall accident and believe that your injuries were caused by the negligence of another individual, it is a good idea to contact a Boca Raton personal injury attorney to discuss the best way to preserve your right to compensation.