According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. The organization estimates that over 800,000 people per year sustain an injury as a result of these types of accidents. Included in this statistic are slip-and-fall incidents.
What makes a slip-and-fall case especially unfortunate is that most of the time, it is preventable. Negligence can often create hazards, causing someone to stumble. Here are the three most common situations where an accident like this is more likely to occur.
1. Slick surfaces
While icy sidewalks are not much of a problem in Florida, there are still plenty of opportunities for slick surfaces to put you at risk. For example, when employees mop a floor or someone spills a liquid, it is common to put out a sign that warns people of the potential danger. Giving visitors a heads-up lets them know to proceed more cautiously than normal.
Failure to alert people of the slick surface is dangerous. These slips are usually sudden, giving the person no time to break his or her fall.
2. Uneven ground
You may find uneven ground within sidewalks or parking lots. Damaged concrete may lead to holes or cracks; these can quickly become dangerous if you do not watch your step. Another example of uneven conditions is too much gravel or excess rocks atop an otherwise smooth surface.
Sidewalks and parking lots receive a lot of foot traffic. Because of this expectation, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure the ground is safe to walk on.
3. Trip hazards
Perhaps the most common cause of a slip-and-fall situation is the presence of a trip hazard. This refers to something on the ground or floor that really should not be. For example, if you have ever gone to the supermarket and seen that food items have fallen from the shelf, these have become trip hazards.
Also included in this category are items that should be lying flat, such as rugs or power cords. With these dangers, the person typically does not see the risk until it is too late to stop the fall.
No matter the cause, slip-and-fall injuries can be catastrophic. Brain injuries and broken bones are among the worst injuries, and in some cases, these can be life-changing. Though many people think of these incidents as accidents, most of the time, someone could have prevented it by addressing the risk.