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Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever slipped on a banana peel? Admittedly, maybe that example is a bit too inspired by cartoons, but you have certainly slipped on something, like a wet floor, and fallen down before, or maybe fallen off a ladder, or gotten injured in any similar way. In the blink of an eye, a simple, normal misstep can lead to a whole cascade of consequences, none of which promise a good time. These sorts of accidents are almost comically common, and yet most people still do not really understand them well, or know all that much about them in general. Hopefully, by the time you have finished reading this little guide, you will have all the information you need to know what a slip and fall accident looks like and what you can and should do if you ever are in one or it happens to someone you know.



What is it?

Let’s start off by getting to the bottom of what exactly a slip-and-fall accident is. In legal terms, a slip and fall accident is a kind of personal injury that happens when an individual, you or anyone else, gets injured while on another’s property. Now the liability for these sorts of accidents depends on the circumstances around it, like where the accident occurred, its main cause, and so on. Sooner or later, though, you are going to want to turn to a professional, like those found at Abogado Mario, who knows the ins and outs of the law, and can help you out. Slips and falls can take place in all sorts of locations, like parks, sidewalks, driveways, apartments, schools, workplaces, and the list could go on forever. Surprisingly enough, slips and falls make up 12% of total falls, with the consequences ranging from just minor cuts and bruises to much more serious complications like total physical incapacitation and even death. So if you go through an accident of that kind, the least you want after such an event is some compensation, and for that to happen, you have to prove the property owner’s failure to take the necessary measures to keep said property safe.


Common Causes

Knowing the causes of slip and fall accidents can offer valuable insight into their prevention and help you watch out for potentially dangerous situations as you notice the warning signs. These reasons can be as varied as they are common. Everything from uneven walking surfaces to unmarked wet floors, to loose carpets and other tripping hazards, to a roof, and everything in between, are only a few examples of the hazards that can lie in wait for innocent and unsuspecting passers-by. Now, when an individual encounters such a hazard, the body’s instinctive reaction is going to be to stabilize itself, and the sudden, awkward movement that follows can lead to a wide range of injuries, some of which will be covered in just a bit. 


Wet Floors

The bane of every cartoon character, slippery surfaces, and wet floors are definitely some of the most common causes of slips and falls, and some examples of such hazards include ice, spills (like liquid onto a floor), rain, loose rugs or mats, and stepladders. When these are involved, property owners need to take proper precautionary measures to ensure people’s safety, like cleaning the wet floor, placing down non-slip materials or water-absorbing mats, and putting up some warning signs. Especially, putting down warning signs is a must until the owner can remove the danger so passers-by can be aware of the potential hazard. 



Poor Lighting

Poor lighting is not so much a cause of slip-and-fall accidents as it can be a contributor, by making potential hazards and obstacles harder to see and notice, as well as making it more difficult to recognize any changes in elevation, like uneven surfaces or steps, which can then lead to tripping and falling. Inadequate lighting also makes it difficult to identify slippery surfaces or liquid spills, again increasing the chances of an accident. Some real-world scenarios where poor lighting can lead to a slip-and-fall include apartment hallways, parking lots, sidewalks, stairways, and workplaces, to name a few. As with wet floors, there are a lot of areas and scenarios where slips and falls can occur, and it is up to the property owners and employers to ensure that the environment is well-lit to make it safe to walk around without the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. 


Soft Tissue Injuries

Let’s examine some of the most common injuries you can sustain after a slip and fall accident, as the sudden loss of balance followed by the impact of hitting the ground is obviously going to have a few consequences. One of the most common outcomes is a soft tissue injury, and even though these sorts of injuries may not be immediately visible, they can still cause some serious pain and even long-term complications if left untreated. Soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, and tears in the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. As external signs can often be absent, you must pay attention to the pain instead of just shrugging it off and seeking a professional medical evaluation to avoid worse issues down the line.


Broken Bones

Depending on the force exerted during the fall, and the height from which the accident occurred, fractures and broken bones are an all-too-common consequence of slip and fall accidents. The arms, wrists, and hips are particularly vulnerable, especially for the elderly, whose bones are often more fragile. Hip fractures in particular are a serious concern for the older population, as that kind of fracture often requires surgery, which gets riskier the older the person is and can lead to long-term disability or even increase mortality risk. Any suspected fracture requires immediate medical attention to make sure it heals properly. 


You can slip, trip, and fall in an almost uncountable amount of places and scenarios, but often you can also avoid them by just keeping your eyes open and paying attention to your surroundings. If you do have an accident, make sure you contact a lawyer to discuss your options following the occurrence.

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