Every New Jersey native understands the dangers that winter brings. However, snow and ice are far from the only slip and fall hazards, and summertime brings its own pitfalls.
Slip and Fall Injuries Can Be Serious
Most of us have taken a tumble at some point or other in our lives, and we usually get up and dust ourselves off. Often, our pride has suffered more injury than our bodies.
People slipping on wet floors, tripping over children’s toys, or stumbling over a missed step are often portrayed as comical. But unlike cartoon cats and television characters, ordinary people who slip and trip are often seriously injured in the fall.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 32,000 Americans died as a result of falls in 2014 alone. The vast majority of those falls occurred in the home or community, with workplace falls accounting for only about 600 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists falls as the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), accounting for 47% of all TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. This type of accident can also cause other serious injuries, such as spinal cord damage.
Summer Slip and Fall Risks
While many falling hazards persist year-round, summer brings its own special concerns. Some summertime slip, trip and fall risks include:
- Wet surfaces around pools, splash pads and other summer recreational facilities
- Water tracked in to adjoining rooms or buildings, such as gyms and snack bars
- Wet or soapy sidewalks and driveways caused by people watering lawns or washing cars
- Increased outdoor activity, bringing people in contact with broken sidewalks, uneven trails, tree roots and other hazards
- Less stable footwear, as the warm weather brings out high heels, flip-flops and other summer styles
- A greater likelihood of outdoor tripping hazards such as toys and gardening tools
All-Season Slip and Fall Risks
The risks listed above are largely associated with summer weather, but they’re far from the only slip and fall pitfalls New Jersey residents face in the summer. A number of hazards persist year-round, including:
- Broken porches, driveways and walkways
- Uneven surfaces, outdoors or in commercial buildings
- Liquid spills in stores, break rooms and other locations
- Freshly mopped floors, especially if unmarked
- Torn, poorly-placed or improperly secured carpeting and throw rugs
- Tripping hazards
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says floors and flooring issues contribute to more than two million falls each year.
Workplace Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls make up a significant percentage of workplace injuries and deaths. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) attributes about ¼ of workplace injuries and 15% of accidental workplace fatalities to slipping, tripping and falling. The majority of these incidents involve falls from the same level.
Liability for a Slip and Fall Injury
Slipping or tripping may seem like a pure accident that is nobody’s fault, but in fact, fall injuries often result from someone else’s negligence. Some of the most common reasons a third party may be liable for a slip and fall injury include:
- Failure to maintain premises in a safe condition
- Faulty manufacture or design of flooring materials
- Negligent installation of flooring or carpeting
- Failure of a business to warn of wet floors
In addition, an employee who suffers a slip and fall injury at work may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Get Help After a Slip and Fall Accident
If you’ve been injured in a fall due to someone else’s negligence or you’ve been hurt at work, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. can help you get the compensation you need. Call us at 856-692-6500 to schedule your free consultation now.