Slips, Trips and Falls: What Causes Them?
The National Security Council reports that slips, trips and falls account for nearly 9 million emergency visits a year in the U.S. Of those 9 million, 2.3 million are by Americans aged 65 and older. Falls are the leading cause of work accidents — second only to car accidents in terms of personal injury cases. Although they happen frequently, that’s no reason to discount the seriousness of slips, trips and falls. Broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, ankle sprains, cuts and lacerations
But why are so many people slipping, tripping and falling every year? The answer is a combination of poor maintenance, inadequate warnings, carelessness and clutter.
Slips, Trips and Falls: Common Causes
With slips, anything that makes a walking surface wet is likely to cause someone to slip. Recently polished or mopped floors, kitchen floors and bathroom floors are some examples. Floors made of slick materials such as marble, tile or terrazzo are slippery even when not wet. Snow and ice make sidewalks, parking lots and streets especially treacherous to walk on during the winter. When any of these circumstances are combined with poor lighting, the chances of slipping are even higher.
With trips, clutter is key. The more clutter there is in a work area or walk area, the more likely you are to trip. Exposed extension cords and telephone cords may seem harmless at first, but tripping over one can cause serious damage. Boxes and other materials should never be stacked in hallways or walkways
With falls, the primary culprit is walking surfaces. Bumps, potholes, and cracks in a sidewalk can cause people to take a tumble. Sometimes people fall because they step higher or lower than they expected; an unseen curb is likely to cause this type of “step and fall.” Stairways can also be dangerous. It’s estimated that nearly half of falls occur on a stairwell. Uneven surfaces, uneven treads, loose handrails and faulty handrails may also make people more prone to falling on stairs.
The sources of trips, slips and falls can be, oftentimes, easily remedied with a combination of improved maintenance, regular inspections and heightened care while walking. Even still, slips, trips and falls are bound to happen. If you or a loved is injured as a result of a slip, trip, or fall in a public or private place, call 1-800-THE-LAW2. One of our slip and fall lawyers could help you get financial compensation for your injuries.