Slip and fall accidents are often sudden and unexpected. An individual may not see a hazard in time to avoid a slip, trip, or fall. While these incidents can occur anywhere, the location plays a major role in determining liability. All property owners bear a certain level of responsibility for maintaining a safe premises – particularly if they entertain invitees or licensees.
According to the National Safety Council, falls represent the number three top cause of unintentional fatalities in the U.S. To avoid slip and fall incidents in Riverside and learn more about the uniqueness of each location, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common places these incidents occur:
- Workplaces. This particularly involves industrial and construction workplaces. Falls from heights, ladders, and on uneven surfaces commonly account for workplace falls and injuries. When employees fail to adhere to proper safety standards and employers do not maintain safe workplace environments, accidents happen. In workplace fall accidents, injured individuals must often work through workers’ compensation claims and look at third-party liability, if applicable. According to the NFSI, falls account for 5% of the job related fatalities for women and 11% for men.
- Super Markets. Grocery store falls often occur because of spills and debris left on the floors. In these and other large retail environments, a customer or employee could spill liquids, a large number of small items, or another hazard and fail to clean it up before a visitor loses balance. In these incidents, supermarket owners may face liability if they knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard. All retailers must take steps to recognize and clean up spills as soon as they identify them.
- Public Areas. Many people walk down sidewalks, through parks, and around other common use spaces every day. Over time, roots, water damage, storm damage, everyday traffic, and other incidents can create serious walking hazards. When individuals trip over structural damage or slip on black ice in these spaces, the local government may bear responsibility for a failure to maintain the space.
- Private Businesses. Every day, boutiques, restaurants, professional services buildings, and other stores may allow daily operations to get in the way of routine maintenance. Unsecured railings, parking lot hazards, spills, and debris in these spaces can contribute to an unwitting patron’s fall. The owner of the establishment is liable for all accidents that arise from foreseeable structural and non-structural hazards.
- Private Property. Some serious accidents take place on private property each year at peoples’ homes and private recreational spaces. Private property owners do not face the same burden of liability as those who open facilities to the public, but they must take reasonable actions to warn or correct known property hazards to avoid injury liability. Homeowners insurance typically covers these claims, but it may not eliminate the need for further legal action.
Within these frequented locations, certain areas give rise to injuries more often than others. Individuals may face a greater risk for a fall and injury in cluttered spaces, on ramps, around stairs, and along uneven surfaces. Improperly guarded heights and ladders also commonly cause accidents.
Fall accidents are unpredictable. Two people can trip over the same sidewalk crack and end up with completely different injuries. The severity of the injury often correlates to the age and health of the victim, the angle of the fall, and nature of the surrounding area. Whenever negligent property care gives rise to the incidents (rather than individual carelessness), the owner/caretaker of the establishment, residence, or public space may face responsibility.
After an accident, proper reporting can make a difference in the legal outcome of any case. Every space may have a slightly different reporting process. Always take the time to locate the owner or operator and give notice or file an accident report about the incident to create a record. An initial notice will lay the foundation for insurance claims and possible lawsuits.
Keep these common locations for slip and fall accidents in mind to avoid an injurious fall and to quickly respond to a fall incident. If you know about slip and fall incidents and where they take place, you can protect your and others’ rights to fair compensation. And if you were injured from a slip or fall accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer today about your case.