What Surfaces Lead to the Most Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

Slip-and-fall accidents often happen unexpectedly and with no time for a victim to brace him- or herself for the impact that follows. However, such accidents can be predicted when the surrounding surfaces and conditions of where an accident may occur are taken into consideration.

Various surfaces lend themselves to a higher frequency of slips, and when they are combined with other factors, such as spilled liquids and freezing temperatures, the circumstances are ripe for an accident.

Slips occur when the surface a person is walking on suddenly and unexpectedly loses friction, causing him or her to lose footing and slide.

This unexpected sliding usually results in the victim losing balance and falling forward or backward without the ability to prepare for impact.

Some of the most slip-and-fall-prone surfaces include:

  • Marble, terrazzo, and granite – Very slippery when wet.
  • Quarry tiles – Slippery when dirty and wet.
  • Ceramic tiles – Easily slippery when not treated for slip resistance.
  • Vinyl composition tile – Very little slip resistance, especially when waxed and polished or wet.

It is important to understand which types of flooring to use both indoors and outdoors, as surrounding factors like splashing water and rain can easily create dangerous conditions when combined with certain types of flooring. Pedestrians would be well advised to stay mindful of their surroundings and stay aware of what they are walking on. A floor does not need to be icy or even very wet to become dangerous.

Slip-and-fall accidents can easily result in severe injuries such as brain trauma, broken bones, fractures, sprains, and even death if the fall and impact is great enough. The San Diego slip-and-fall lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries suffered in such an accident caused by the negligence of property owners or maintenance crews. For more information on how we can help, contact our offices today.

Slip and Fall Injury Accidents

If you fall due to a “dangerous condition” (e.g., ice, trip hazard, standing water, etc.) on someone else’s property and are left with an injury that is long-lasting or interferes with your daily routine, the premise owner may be liable for the injuries you suffered.

But how do you know whether you have a personal injury case in the first place? How should it be handled? Do you need a personal injury lawyer to help you?

Here are some facts about slip and fall liability.

First, you are not alone. Thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents every year, some of which are very serious. The causes of these injury accidents range from dangerous flooring, tricky stairs, an unexpected change in elevation that leads you to trip, or an uneven area of ground. These are known as dangerous conditions.

Keep in mind that although you may be injured due to these dangerous conditions, property owners may not be held liable unless they had “notice” of the dangerous condition and (1) either had an opportunity to fix it, or (2) had an opportunity to warn you and others of the dangerous condition. To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, at least one of the following must be true:

  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

Some tricky wording (you may have noticed “should have” quite often) often leaves room for debate between attorneys for property owners and injury victims. Liability relies heavily on whether the property owner followed its’ own rules and guidelines and whether the property owner or its’ employees used common sense to recognize and fix a dangerous condition. A debate also hinges on what was “reasonable” considering the circumstances. It is often important to determine whether the owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean and whether such “inspections” occurred just prior to your injury accident.

Some things to consider when you are considering whether you should pursue your slip and fall injury claim and whether you need the help of a trained personal injury attorney with experience litigating premises liability cases:

  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object that should not have been on the property (the “dangerous condition”), had the dangerous condition been there long enough that the owner should have known about it?
  • Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining and cleaning or repairing the premises? If so, what proof does the owner have of this regular maintenance?
  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object on the ground, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
  • If there once had been a good reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been removed or covered or otherwise made safe?
  • Was there a safer place the object could have been located, or could it have been placed in a safer manner, without much greater inconvenience or expense to the property owner or operator?
  • Could a simple barrier have been created or a warning been given to prevent people from slipping or tripping?
  • Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?

Bear in mind that the notice requirement is a double-edged sword. The primary way the property owner will learn of a dangerous condition is through a visual inspection–in other words, they saw it on their property. Seeing the dangerous condition is enough to put the property owner on notice. However, if the dangerous condition was visible to the property owner, the property owner will argue that you should have seen it too and avoided it. In other words, the property owner will argue that you bear some or all of the responsibility for causing your injuries. This is called “contributory negligence”. It does not prevent you from recovering money for your injuries, but if a jury agrees with the property owner it will reduce the verdict in your favor.

For example, if you slip on water on a supermarket floor, a jury will be asked to determine whether the property owner was responsible for your injuries and whether you were contributorily negligent. Let’s say that a jury determines that your injury is worth $100,000 and that the property owner is 75% responsible and you are 25% contributorily negligent. The result of this verdict is that you will receive a verdict of $100,000 minus 25% ($25,000), for a net jury verdict of $75,000.

Because determining whether a property owner is legally responsible for a slip and fall injury is never absolutely determined until trial–both the property owner and injury victim will have arguments in their favor–many personal injury attorneys do not like representing slip and fall accident victims. These personal injury lawyers prefer cases where legal responsibility is determined, like rear-end car collisions, and the only issue they have to fight over is the value of the injured person’s injury. If they do take the rare slip and fall case, they are often lost or unmotivated to do the hard work needed to successfully prosecute these claims.

That is why you need an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer to help you. We have built a reputation in San Diego, Southern California, and the entire state of California as successful slip and fall accident lawyers who know how to build, document, and strengthen serious slip and fall accident cases. That reputation is known amongst other personal injury attorneys, many of whom regularly refer their slip and fall accident clients to our office due to our expertise. In addition, it is known by the insurance companies and lawyers for property owners who know that we will take these cases to trial and will be successful.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident and you would like more information, contact us for a free consultation. We will make sure that none of your questions are unanswered and that you are informed about the legal process for slip and fall accident cases.

Answers to Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Car Accident Questions

Q: What can threaten my California slip and fall claim?

A: If you have suffered injuries after falling on slippery tiles, you should speak to a San Diego injury law firmto discuss filing a California slip and fall claim. Denial, low settlement offers, and unfair adjusters could ruin the outcome of your California slip and fall claim.

Since this kind of claim can be very difficult to pursue, it’s best that you don’t try to tackle it on your own. Therefore, you should know about the various ways in which your claim could be minimized or denied when you’ve fallen on slippery tiles so that you can help your law firm build your case.

Threats to a California Slip and Fall Claim

Keep in mind that insurance adjusters will try all sorts of tactics to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. It doesn’t matter if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury while losing your balance on slippery tiles.

One threat to your claim is that it could be outright denied. Insurance companies will search for any loopholes that put you at fault or cast doubt on your version of how your accident occurred.

Another threat is that you may be offered an unfair settlement. A San Diego injury law firm can help determine whether a settlement is truly fair and will address any future medical or vocational needs. If you accept a low settlement before you realize the full extent of your injuries after you slip and fall on slippery tiles, you will not be able to ask for more damages.

Your claim could also be threatened if you think your insurance adjusters are fair. Be advised that their goal is to save the company money, not to look out for your best interest.

Act Now For Help With Your California Slip and Fall Claim

If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident in California, we are here to help. When you’re ready to get started on your case, simply contact our law offices online or by phone. The consultation is free!

Slip and Fall Injuries: New Study Highlights Key Risk Factors Predicting Injury

Slip and fall accidents commonly cause lower leg injuries when people fall unexpectedly and cannot stop themselves gracefully. The torque and force the fall put on their joints and bones can be severe and cause serious injury and pain.

In the medical community, the severity of a lower extremity injury stemming from a slip and fall accident is determined by several risk factors. Some people are more susceptible to leg injuries, such as a foot and knee injury from a slip and fall than others and it could affect your personal injury case.

Our San Diego slip and fall attorneys recently discussed a medical study at a personal injury law firm website which attempts to predict the severity of lower extremity injuries to predict medical treatment and prognosis.

Are You More at Risk for Suffering a Lower Extremity (Leg) Injury from a Slip and Fall Accident? A New Study Finds Key Indicating Factors.

Lower extremity (leg) injuries are frequently caused by slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents most commonly lead to injuries such as muscle strains, contusions, and ligament sprains to name a few. The ankle, knee, and lower leg are the most common places for lower extremity injuries. Lower leg injuries are frequently treatable, but costly, and the worldwide medical costs for treating them are estimated at $1 billion a year. Because of the frequency and treatment costs of lower extremity injuries, researchers and clinicians have compiled a list of risk factors to help determine how severe the lower extremity injury is relative to the scope of possible leg injuries.

Some risk factors include: age, gender, menstrual cycle (in women), previous injury, inadequate rehabilitation (of a previous personal injury), acrobatic fitness level, limb dependence, flexibility, muscle strength/balance, reaction time, limb girth, postural stability, and anatomical alignment.

Leg injury risk factors help insurance adjusters, doctors, and attorneys determine the severity of the slip and fall accident which helps them access the compensation the injured person should receive. This is why every slip and fall case is unique. Since people themselves are unique, there is no specific rate that a person will get when they suffer a slip and fall accident.

If you have suffered a slip and fall accident that has caused a lower leg injury, including a foot and knee injury from a slip and fall, please be sure to see an orthopedic doctor, preferably a surgeon, as soon as possible to have your injury examined and to determine its’ seriousness. It would also be a good idea to gather all relevant facts available to you about your accident—gather all contact information for witnesses to the slip and fall, take pictures of the material or object you slipped or tripped on, and look around for any video cameras which may have captured the slip and fall. You should bring this information to an experienced San Diego slip and fall lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases, such as our lawyers, for a free consultation and help with getting the medical treatment you need and a guidance.

San Diego Slip and Fall Law Firm

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are very common, most often in supermarkets, stores, and restaurants. Employees that sweep and mop floors sometimes do a poor job, or they fail to warn their customers that the floor is slippery after mopping. Many employees also forget to display a “wet floor sign” which could warn their customers of a potential slip hazard Because of this, people can unexpectedly slip and fall and injure themselves.

The slip and fall attorneys have represented numerous clients injured by slip and fall accidents. For more information about how we can help you or your family member injured in a San Diego slip and fall accident, please contact us for a free consultation.

Slip and Fall Injuries are one of the Most Common Accidents and One of the Most Difficult Personal Injury Claims. Be Sure to Hire a Trained and Experienced Lawyer for Your Case.

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, even in stores, restaurants, and shops.  Because these places require constant cleaning, employees have to constantly sweep and mop their floors.  Although this is a good practice for a business to have, sometimes these employees will do the job in a negligent and disorderly fashion.  Employees are supposed to warn their patrons or customers if the floor is slippery or wet.  Or at the very least, they should leave a “wet floor” sign on the wet area.

Common Injuries Stemming from Slip and Fall Accidents

When employees don’t follow proper safety protocols, their customers or patrons could slip and fall in their store.  Here are the common injuries stemming from slip and fall accidents:

  • Concussion
  • Broken back
  • Hip fracture
  • Back Pain
  • Dislocated knee and elbows

Will the Store be Held Liable for my Slip and Fall Accident?

When property is open to the public for business purposes, the customers or patrons are considered to be “invitees.”  These businesses have the obligation to warn these invitees of known obvious and non-obvious dangers, and they will be held liable if someone gets injured while on their property.  A wet floor is considered to be a non-obvious danger because you don’t know a surface is too slippery until it is too late.

Thus, when you slip and fall in a store through no fault or negligence of your own, the store will generally be held liable for your injuries.  This means, that the store will have to pay for your lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages you may have from the accident.

How Can a Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Help?

Unlike most other personal injury cases, the only way to obtain compensation for your injuries is by filing a lawsuit.   Once the lawsuit is filed, slip and fall attorneys know how to negotiate with the business, their insurance companies, and their attorneys.

Fortunately, our lawyers specialize in slip and fall accidents.  We have represented numerous slip and fall clients who have been satisfied with how our law office represented them and the compensation they received.  If you or someone you know has ever been involved in a slip and fall accident, please contact us for a free consultation.