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The 6 Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Romanucci & Blandin

Every year, one million people visit the emergency room because of a slip and fall accident. The effects of these falls can vary, causing everything from a few minor bumps and bruises to skull fractures and even death. The attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin have represented hundreds of slip and fall victims in the Chicago area, so our team is thoroughly knowledgeable about what causes these accidents and how they can be prevented. From uneven surfaces to nursing home neglect, here are the six most common causes of slip and fall accidents.

6 Major Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

  1. Wet or Uneven Surfaces.  According to the National Floor Safety Institute, 55% of all slip and fall accidents are caused by hazardous walking surfaces. What exactly do we mean by that? The following issues can turn a walking surface into a hazard:
  • Cluttered floors
  • Loose floorboards
  • Defective sidewalks
  • Parking lot potholes
  • Poorly constructed staircases
  • Torn carpeting
  • Recently mopped or waxed floors

Conditions like these make walking surfaces dangerous. If you think about the list, it’s not hard to see why slip and fall accidents are so common.

  1. Weather Conditions. Many outdoor slip and fall injuries are the result of hazardous weather conditions like rain, ice and snow. Although we can’t always predict what the weather will do, property owners and municipalities alike have a responsibility to plow streets, shovel sidewalks and salt steps and walkways. When they fail to do so and a slip and fall injury occurs, these parties may be held legally responsible.
  1. Improper Training. Many slip and fall accidents take place on the job. Some work areas, especially those in the manufacturing and construction fields, may require workers to spend a lot of time walking on slick surfaces or narrow pathways. If employers don’t supply their workers with proper on-the-job training, they may be at fault when a slip and fall occurs.
  1. Nursing Home Neglect. As people get older, their sense of balance deteriorates. Many seniors are at an increased risk of falling, and when they do, they’re much more likely to sustain a life-threatening injury like a hip fracture. When nursing home administrators and aids don’t properly monitor and assist their residents, slip and fall accidents are much more likely to happen.
  1. Footwear. The National Floor Safety Institute reports that 24% of slip and fall accidents are caused by footwear, but this stat isn’t just about heading out on the town wearing 9-inch heels. Sneakers and even work boots that don’t provide proper traction can cause people to slip and fall at home, in public or on the job.
  1. Fraud. The majority of slip and fall claims are legitimate, but the NFSI reports that around 3% of cases are fraudulent. This means the claimant may have set the stage for the fall on their own (for example, dumping vegetable oil on a grocery store floor before purposefully falling). He may also try to seek restitution from a party that’s not responsible – perhaps his fall happened at home but he pretends that it happened on the job. Some cases may even be completely fraudulent. Sometimes, the slip and fall never happened in the first place.

Fraud cases are extremely rare, but they do exist, and that’s why winning a case on a legitimate claim can sometimes be difficult. Employers, city planners and even lawmakers often greet these claims with suspicion and mistrust. That’s why it’s so important to seek legal aid from reputable and established attorneys if you’re the victim of a slip and fall accident. Experienced slip and fall attorneys know what you’re up against, and they’ll know exactly what course to take.

If you believe defective sidewalks, nursing home neglect, hazardous work conditions or other dangerous factors led to your slip and fall accident, contact the Chicago attorneys of Romanucci & Blandin today. They’ll work with you to build a solid case and help you find the justice you deserve.

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