What Is the Biggest Cause of Slip Accidents in Indiana?
There are roughly 540,000 slip and fall injuries treated in US hospitals every year. Slip and fall accidents often lead to painful injuries- including broken bones, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Many things can cause a person to slip- but what reasons are the most common? Here is an overview of the top five causes of slip and fall accidents in Indiana- and the five leading contributing factors.
Top Five Reasons a Slip and Fall Accident Happens
1: Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Slippery or wet surfaces are the number one cause of slip and fall accidents. Water on the floor is extremely hazardous, since it is often difficult to see and can cause people to fall hard and fast.
Other leading causes of slippery floors are fresh coats of polish, substances other than water that has not been properly cleaned, and poor choice of construction materials used in public places.
2: Unsafe of Uneven Surfaces
Alongside slippery surfaces, the leading cause of fall accidents is unsafe surfaces. Aside from being wet or slippery, floors can be uneven or otherwise dangerous. Although these types of surface issues are more likely to cause a trip than a slip, they still contribute to many falls.
3: Nursing Home Neglect
Sadly, nursing homes are one of the places with the most slip and fall accidents. The elderly often have reduced mobility, so they are more likely to slip easily. Reportedly, one-third of nursing home residents experience a fall at some point- but not always due to slipping.
Nursing home neglect includes failure to provide safe spaces- and leaving walking surfaces wet, worn, or uneven is a breach of that duty of care.
4: Human Error
It is everybody's responsibility to act in a way that puts safety first- and sometimes, the victim's reckless actions are what cause them to slip and fall. Mistakes happen, and they happen often. Unfortunately, people often cause themselves to fall and hurt themselves.
Almost a quarter of all slip and fall accidents are related to incorrect footwear. Whether that is high heels or old work boots with worn-down soles, wearing the wrong shoes in certain conditions creates an increased risk of slipping and falling.
Top Contributing Factors
1: Bad Weather Conditions
Understandably, many slips occur when the weather is bad. When it rains or snows, the wetness on the ground outside can make it difficult to see the road surface- and if the temperature drops, it can create ice.
Another danger in bad weather is people running to get indoors sooner. In the rush, they are more likely to slip. People going into buildings with wet shoes and clothes create an additional hazard around the entrance areas.
2: Poor Lighting
People are more likely to slip and fall somewhere where it is dark than somewhere with proper lighting. Poor lighting makes it harder to spot water on the ground, an uneven surface, or any other potential hazard that could increase the risk of slipping.
3: Lack of Proper Care
Good housekeeping procedures significantly reduce the likelihood of someone slipping. Properly cleaning up after spills immediately, drying wet floors quickly, and keeping the area tidy are all simple ways to avoid an accident.
Unfortunately, these simple actions are often not taken- which could constitute negligence, depending on the circumstances. A property owner who does not clean and care for the space effectively and creates risky situations for patrons may find themselves liable in a slip and fall lawsuit.
4: Insufficient Training
Many slip and fall accidents that happen in the workplace are due to a lack of proper training- especially in the construction industry. People working on industrial sites are often around many hazardous zones and materials- and the risks of slipping are fairly high.
Occupational safety is extremely important- and properly educating people on the dangers around them and how to handle them can avoid life-threatening accidents. Sadly, people end up seriously injured because they were not trained sufficiently for their jobs.
5: Pre-Existing Conditions
A possible contributing factor that defense teams often use to move the blame from their client to the victim is a pre-existing condition. This means something about the victim before their injury occurred that may be to blame (at least partially) for the accident.
If someone has a history of knee or hip trouble, has a medical condition that could affect their balance or any other physical ailment that qualifies them as a fall risk, it could work against them in a claim. The same applies if they have been drinking alcohol.
Pre-existing conditions are a common contributor to slips and falls.
When Can Victims Claim Compensation for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Victims can claim damages after a slip and fall accident through a personal injury lawsuit- as long as the case meets certain criteria. Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on if most slip and fall cases settle out of court.
To be able to claim for a slip and fall injury, they must be able to prove that the property owners had a duty of care and breached it- leading to whatever caused the accident.
Indiana law only allows fall victims to recover compensation if they are found to have less than 51% comparative fault- being they are not more than half to blame. The property owners must also have had some legal responsibility to the person- which may not apply if the victim was trespassing at the time.
Owners must not have taken any reasonable actions to stop the accident from happening- such as displaying warning signs for any potential hazards.
Fighting for compensation after a slip and fall accident is much easier with the help of a legal expert. Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "What is the difference between slip and fall and trip and fall?"
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Throughout the US, the most common causes of slip and fall accidents are wet and uneven surfaces- but the other things on this list can also be responsible. Slip and fall accidents can lead to major injuries- and the responsible party can be held liable. The best slip and fall attorneys in Indianapolis can navigate the process for you.
Anyone who believes they have a valid slip and fall claim in Indiana should contact Shuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to arrange a free consultation with experienced attorneys who will go to war for them.