By :Marlena Stoddard
Many people laughed at the commercial from 1989 where an elderly woman falls and cries out desperately “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” but the reality of falls is no joke. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 11% of seniors aged 75+ were treated for fall injury episodes in 2010, and the rates were alarmingly high for younger groups as well. Here are a few tips to avoid slip and fall injuries, and a guide to what your recourse is if you are injured in a slip and fall accident.
Conditions that have not been properly maintained such as changes in flooring, torn carpeting or poor lighting can set the stage for unforeseen accidents. Walking down narrow stairs, or on a wet floor can cause someone to slip and hurt himself inside any building. If you are not paying attention, it is easy to trip on uneven and broken public sidewalks. You can easily trip and fall on a stairway or the escalator if you are looking and talking to a friend instead. Slipping on the snow and ice can cause a serious slip and fall injury. Many situations create unsafe conditions that can cause you to fall and be injured. It is less likely to happen in your own home since you are more familiar and certainly know to stay on top of the day to day maintenance. However, other homeowners or business owners can be less attentive, and you may be at risk of injury outside of your home.
Remedy slippery floors
Some surfaces are more slip resistant when wet. Materials such as granite or marble give a polished stone floor. When left untreated, these floors are very slippery. Falls are unnecessary and preventable with a nonslip treatment which can help to make this area more slip resistance when wet. It is also a good strategy to place floor mats in traffic spots.
Inspection and maintenance
Inspection and maintenance of public floor areas should be done on a regular basis. If you slip and fall, it will be your burden to prove that the other party failed to maintain and was negligent. You must prove that it it a legal duty owed to you and because their negligence has caused your injury.
Use precautionary measures
Many of these situations and injuries can be prevented if you make a habit to use precautionary measures. If you are wearing new shoes, the bottoms of the heels will likely have poor slip resistance. While you may want to continue to look stylish and fabulous, you may also wind up with an awful injury if you walk unaware.
Burden of proof
If you are involved in a slip and fall situation, and it was a result of another person’s mistake, you will need to prove that the other party involved knew or should have known about the existence of a dangerous condition and should have taken steps to correct it. If you are involved in an accident, talk to an attorney like the Law Offices of Robert A. Lynch, Jr. to see if you have a strong enough case to recover damages. If nothing else, it may help you cover the cost of any medical treatment you may have needed.
Typically, slip and fall cases get settled out of court. Of course, you must have sustained some kind of injury. A confidential consultation with a personal injury lawyer is always recommended. He can help you understand your rights and options and make informed decisions.