When you visit a place of business, you’re likely going with a goal in mind to attend an event, make a specific purchase, or simply browse. Regardless of the goal for your trip, you’re probably not thinking about the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident; however, this type of accident is much more common than you may think.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over eight million emergency room visits every single year. Many of these individuals sustain injuries like broken bones and severe contusions.
Many slip-and-fall accidents that occur in businesses are a result of employees neglecting protocols or negligent property owners. In the event you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident, you have the right to hold that negligent party accountable for what could have been a preventable hazard.
Let’s take a look at where slip-and-fall accidents happen, why they happen, and the individuals who are most susceptible to falling.
Where Do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Happen?
While most people associate slip-and-fall accidents with hospitals and nursing homes, it’s important to recognize that falls can happen anywhere and at any time. The list below contains the common business locations slip-and-fall incidents occur.
Department Stores. When department stores mop or experience wet floors for any reason, they should have caution signs up to warn customers of the potential hazard. If the signs are missing, or there is other debris or merchandise on the ground, customers make take a spill.
Casinos. Many people walk around casinos with drinks in their hands. If they spill that drink and a staff member doesn’t notice, other individuals walking around are put at risk for injuring themselves.
Grocery Stores. One of the biggest culprits in grocery store slip-and-fall accidents is water. Water is a hazard, especially in the deli and bakery areas where employees may not always clean up the way they’re supposed to. Fall accidents also occur in grocery stores when items are left out in the aisles.
Hotels. The most common hotel falls are related to the equipment in the hotel. Whether you fall as a result of a leaky pipe in the bathroom or slip on the pool deck, hotel management has a responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent those incidents.
Restaurants. It’s not uncommon for food and beverages to end up on the floors of restaurants. When these spills happen and are not cleaned up properly, restaurant patrons are likely to fall.
Why Do Slip-and-Fall Accidents Happen in Businesses?
The majority of slip-and-fall accidents in businesses can be linked to negligence. When owners and their employees neglect their duty to keep walkways clear, clean, and open, they put the health of their patrons at risk. The following list includes some of the most common negligent actions that lead to slip-and-fall accidents:
- Improper snow and ice removal
- Leaving debris or other objects on the floor or ground in aisles or walkways
- Supplying inadequate lighting
- Neglecting to mop up spilled liquids or fix leaking pipes
- Providing uneven walkways or unstable railings and stairs
While anyone is likely to fall when these hazards are around, there are some individuals who are more likely to take a spill.
What Groups of People Are Most At-Risk for Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Anyone can become the victim of a slip-and-fall accident; however, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that certain groups of people are more susceptible to falls and related injuries than others.
Approximately 8,000 people in the 0 to 19 age group are treated in hospital emergency room departments for injuries sustained while falling every day. Falling is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for this age group.
The second group to suffering from more slip-and-fall accidents is those in the 65 and older age group. Approximately one out of every four individuals in this age groups fall every year. Of the individuals who suffer from falls, 20 percent sustain a serious injury like a broken bone or head injury.
Determining Liability After a Slip-and-Fall Accident in Illinois
In order to prove negligence after a slip-and-fall accident, you’ll want to have answers to the following questions:
- Did you fall because the floor was unreasonably slippery?
- Do you know why the floor was slippery?
- If an unknown substance caused your fall, do you know how long had the substance been on the floor prior to you falling?
- Were there any warning or indicators that there was a potential hazard on the ground?
- Did you know the floor was slippery before you fell?
- Do you believe the business owner knew or should have known about the slip-and-fall hazard?
In conjunction with your answers, the right attorney can help you build a strong case to support you slip-and-fall claim.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your accident. It can be difficult to prove negligence, which is why contacting our Marion, IL slip and fall lawyers can benefit your claims. Contact us today to discuss your case.