Slip and Fall Accidents: the Number One Cause of Accidental Injury in the U.S.

“Slip and fall” or “trip and fall” is one of the most common types of accident that injure many people. Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents include minor bruises, head injuries, neck, back and spine injuries, broken hips or broken pelvis, and torn tendons and ligaments.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization, slip and fall accidents:

  • are the number one cause of accidental injury;
  • account for over 1 million hospital emergency room visits (records from the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts show more than 8 million slip and fall accidents in the U.S. every year, though);
  • result in more than 31 days away from work, making these the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older (based on records from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics );
  • cause half of all accidental deaths in the home (these falls are at ground level, not from an elevation);
  • often result to hip fractures, which are the most serious slip and fall injuries. These injuries lead to the greatest health problems and most number of deaths;
  • caused the death of more than 15,000 people (over the age of 65) in 2005 (in 2004, fatal slip and fall accidents was only 7,700, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);

Floors and flooring materials, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), also contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year.

Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, including in stores, restaurants, churches, malls, supermarkets, theaters / arenas / stadiums, parks and playgrounds, food courts, swimming pool areas, retirement homes, parking lots, workplaces and private homes.

These can be caused by wet and slippery floors, cluttered floors, icy walkways, torn carpet or mats, loose floor tiles, floorboards or broken or loose stair treads or handrails, damaged sidewalks, ditches and potholes, or inadequate lighting.

In its website, the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., makes emphasis on the fact that “property owners are required by law to warn guests and visitors of anything that could cause them harm on their property, and to then reasonably address those dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, there are far too many property owners who fail to maintain safety on their estate or warn guests of any dangers that may be present, resulting in unsuspecting visitors suffering serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

When property owners fail to uphold their responsibilities and others suffer harm as a result, they can be held accountable for the effects of their negligence and carelessness.

individuals have a right to safety whenever they visit another person’s or company’s property, and when property owners fail to provide for the safety of guests and visitors,” then visitors can pursue legal actions to seek compensation for their sufferings, injuries and other damages.

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