A recent report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked slip and fall accidents as the third-most fatal-working event in Virginia. The impacts of slip and fall accidents can vary, from minor scratches and bruises to more severe injuries such as spinal cord damage, broken hips, traumatic brain injury (TBI), to death.
In Virginia, property owners have a duty to eliminate hazards and reduce the risk of slips and falls. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, you could be entitled to a claim. The premise liability attorneys from Renfro & Renfro, PLLC specialize in premises liability cases and can help file a claim on your behalf so you obtain adequate compensation for your damages. We know all about common slip and fall accidents and their causes.
4 Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall is used as a broad term for a variety of accidents. When it comes to hazardous walking surfaces, there are four common situations that you will likely encounter:
- A trip and fall: Occurs when you encounter an unexpected object in your walking path that catches your foot to cause a stumble or fall (i.e., a defective sidewalk).
- Stumble and fall: This can occur if one of your feet hits something while walking to impede your movement and cause a fall.
- Step and fall: Occurs when you step on or into an object (i.e., a pothole, open drain or manhole, etc…) that could not usually be there or step into some type of deformation in a floor or pathway.
- Slip and fall: This happens when the contact between your foot and the floor doesn’t support your center of gravity, causing a fall (i.e., water or other foreign substance, etc…).
6 common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The following are the most common causes of slips and falls in Virginia:
1. Wet and Uneven Surfaces
Undoubtedly, most slip-and-fall accidents in the country are caused by the presence of hazards on floors. Walking on wet or uneven flooring, pavement, and surfaces without warning can make you trip and injure yourself in a fall.
Other common flooring conditions that may cause slips and falls include:
- Recently waxed or polished floors
- Loose rugs and mats
- Broken, worn, or bulging carpeting
- Items on rugs and carpeting that catch on shoes
- Spills that are not cleaned up
- Unsalted icy surfaces
- Potholes in parking lots
- Uneven flooring, pavement, and surfaces
2. Bad Lighting
Walking in poorly lit areas makes people more vulnerable to slips and falls. Darkness impedes visibility, making tripling on objects and uneven surfaces easy. A surface that may not be especially dangerous in broad daylight can be hazardous in the dark. Pool areas, sidewalks, walkways, garages, and stairwells are especially dangerous in the dark. The property owners are responsible for ensuring walking areas are adequately lit.
3. Missing or Defective Handrails
Handrails are critical safety components when using stairs. Guests rely on handrails to make safe access to some areas in shopping centers, hotels, apartment complexes, and parking garages. When the handrail is missing or defective, it makes it easy for someone to lose balance and grip, leading to serious falls.
4. Improper Footwear
Wearing the wrong footwear when walking on hazardous surfaces can cause slip-and-fall accidents. For example, if one wears high heels on an icy day or flip-flops in a construction zone, they are at higher risk of tripping. Ensure you wear ideal footwear with the right type of traction when accessing some workplaces or taking a walk in slippery outdoors.
5. Nursing Home Neglect
A worrying fact about most slip and falls accident is that they are caused by nursing home neglect. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in three people over 65 falls each year. These accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that require extensive hospitalization. If an aging loved one has suffered a slip and fall accident in a nursing home, the owners of the home could be held liable. Contact the experienced personal injury attorney from Renfro & Renfro, PLLC, to discuss your case.
6. Improper Safety Practices
People in some specific occupations are at a higher risk of slips and falls if proper workplace safety practices are not followed. Employers in Virginia have a duty to provide a safe workplace for their employees, clients, and visitors. However, some employers ignore this basic rule while others offer inadequate training and improper work site maintenance. It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure workers are provided with the tools and safety gear they need to remain safe.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Expert Personal Injury Lawyers
Virginia laws can be complex, and meeting the requirements of a premise liability lawsuit is incredibly strenuous. At Renfro & Renfro, our experienced Richmond, Virginia injury attorneys understand slip and fall accidents and their causes. We can handle all the complex legalities of your claim so that you focus on recovering from your injuries.
We can guide you on your rights and responsibilities under the law, ensuring you get the best outcome for your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (804) 601-4433 or contacting us online. We look forward to working with you!