Few people, if any, embark on their daily errands knowing that they will be the victim of a slip and fall accident. While there can be various injuries associated with slip and fall accidents, such as neck injuries, fractured bones, and muscle damage, the truth is that a slip and fall accident can happen almost anywhere. Being aware of the various places a slip and fall accident can occur can not only help you be more aware of hazardous environments, it can also help you figure out how to proceed with your case, should you be injured in a slip and fall accident.
Slip and Fall Cases
Generally, a slip and fall accident is any accident in which an individual slips and falls due to some negligence of another party. In order to prove that a party was negligent, however, a victim must first prove one of three things:
-that the owner of the premises, or an employee, caused the dangerous surface that was the cause of the injury,
-that the owner, or an employee, knew of the dangerous surface, but chose to do nothing about it, or,
-that the owner, or an employee, should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable person” would have been aware of the defect or obstruction, and would have remedied the problem.
While it is true that slip and fall accidents can happen at any place a person can walk, some locations carry a higher risk than others due to the nature of the activities taking place in that area. The following are just some examples of some common locations for slip and fall accidents.
Sidewalks, Walkways, and Driveways
Most homeowners, or landlords, are familiar with regulations or laws that require them to ensure that the pavement in front of their home remains a safe place for pedestrians. In particular, sidewalks, walkways and driveways can prove to be especially dangerous during the winter seasons, due to snowy and icy conditions that can create slick paths for pedestrians. Such risks aren’t limited to the winter season, either, since there are also other risks, such as cracked sidewalks or potholes that can result in serious risk to pedestrians.
Even though the homeowner bears responsibility for the safe conditions of the sidewalk in some cases, they also bear the responsibility of informing the responsible government entities of any defects or dangerous conditions that occur on the pathways around their home.
In addition, private citizens are not the only ones responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of sidewalks or walkways surrounding their home, as government entities can also be held responsible for injuries resulting from neglect.
Not only is there a risk of a slip and fall accident occurring outside the home, but there is also a risk of such an accident occurring inside the home as well. Regardless of whether the victim was at the residential home for a social visit, or for a private gathering, the homeowner still bears the responsibility of ensuring that the home is safe for those persons that were invited onto the premises. Accidents at residential homes, however, can cause some particularly troublesome lawsuits, especially if the home happens to belong to a friend of the victim.
Public Pools, Gyms, and Restrooms
It should come as no surprise that wet surfaces are slick, hazardous environments. Pools, gyms, and even restrooms can provide such risks. Naturally, at a public pool, plenty of people are entering and exiting the pool, dragging water onto the floors with them. At the gym, there is always a risk of pools of sweat, water, or various types of sports drink collecting on the floor, or nearby weight machines. As for restrooms, there is plenty of risk that water used to wash one’s hands can wind up on the floor, creating a slick, hazardous environment for other persons.
Another common place for slip and fall accidents to occur would be the commercial retailer. This can be anything from a clothing store to a toy shop. One of the most common risks is that of the recently cleaned floor. Things can get even messier if the retailer carries food or beverages, since food items such as fruits or sauces can fall to the ground and create even more risk of a slip and fall accident occurring. In addition, machinery used to freeze items or to keep items cool can break down, creating puddles that could injure unsuspecting patrons of the retailer.
Restaurants or Bars
As with the commercial retailers, restaurants or bars are prime places for slip and fall accidents, due to the food and drink that can all too easily wind up on the floor, creating unsafe conditions for persons attempting to have a meal or a drink.
Why Location Matters
You might be wondering at this point why any of this matters. If a slip and fall accident can occur at any place and any time, then any location would be just as risky as the next. Under the law, however, the responsible party will not always be the same. For example, if you are injured in a residential home, you could be injured by a defect caused by the homeowner. In the alternative, if the home is owned, not by the host, but by the landlord, then the landlord would be responsible for any injuries resulting from the accident. If a slip and fall accident occurs at commercial retailers, restaurants, or bars, the owner, as well as any responsible employees, can be held liable for any negligence on their behalf.