Slip and falls have always been played for a laugh on TV, in movies, and in other forms of modern entertainment. And we do mean always. In the early 1900s, slipping on a banana peel become a comedy staple through Vaudeville performances. Slipping and falling, played for laughs, has continued to be a trope used as a means of comic relief. In reality, a slip and fall is no laughing matter: slip and falls can result in serious injury. The origin of the famous banana peel gag itself is not very glamorous: people were breaking bones on discarded banana peels.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slip and falls result in at least 1 million emergency room visits every year. About 50,000 of those ER visits will be to treat the fracture of a bone. Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of work injuries (about one in six work injuries is the result of a slip and fall) and are a primary cause for lost wages due to a workplace injury. For workers over the age of 55, slip and falls are the leading cause of work injuries.
There are many causes for slip and fall accidents. And while there is an Internet rumor than 300 people were injured by bananas in Great Britain in 2001, slipping on a banana peel is not among the leading causes.
Slippery floors are such a risk that there’s a universal symbol for that dangerous situation. Yellow signs depicting a stick figure person in the process of falling backwards are generally posted when a business or public entity is aware of a spill or other condition that could be a fall hazard. Be careful when walking near designated slippery surfaces. Many surfaces can also become slippery unexpectedly, such as during a sudden rain storm or after a floor waxing.
Uneven Floor or Ground
The floor beneath your feet is not always flat. Rugs can bunch up, trees can create a sloped sidewalk, rainstorms can cause potholes; all of which can cause an expected fall if you’re not careful. Most of us aren’t paying attention to the ground as we walk, leaving us susceptible to a sudden slope or crooked floorboard.
It’s hard to walk safely if you can’t see. Bad indoor lighting or unlit sidewalks and parking lots can leave a lot to chance, increasing the risk of a fall. Trash or debris in a designated walking path can create a dangerous situation. So too can improperly maintained walkways and stairways. Someone walking down a set of stairs with a broken or missing handrail can more easily fall and become injured. And while only a problem in certain parts of California, unsalted sidewalks and unshoveled driveways after a snow or ice storm can leave visitors and customers at risk.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
Not all slip and fall injuries can be pursued via personal injury law. Generally, for a slip and fall legal case to be viable, the incident must meet a few minimum guidelines. If a slip and fall injury occurs while the victim is working, the injured worker can pursue a workers’ compensation claim, regardless of fault. If the injury occurs at home, the victim cannot pursue a claim. If a slip and fall injury occurs on private property, public property, or at a place of business, the situation becomes much murkier. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you determine if you can pursue a slip and fall legal case with a free consultation. Call us today at 888-517-9888!