Everything you need to know about slip and fall accidents

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. However, most are preventable.

Slip and fall accidents, also known as a premises liability accidents, are becoming increasingly common, so it’s important to know how best to prevent them if you are a home or business owner.

Most visits to the ER are due to a fall

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9.4 million people visited the emergency room due to a fall. This number reflected an increase of more than 1.5 million visits to the ER since 2001, making falls the leading cause of injuries. 

Falls can result in death

Slips and falls can be fatal. Of the 30 million fall accidents in older adults, about 30,000 of the victims died from their injuries. About one in every five falls results in a head injury that can cause a concussion or brain damage. As many as 300,000 older adults end up hospitalized after suffering from hip fractures caused by falls. 

Most fall victims are older adults

While falls are not a common part of aging, older adults are more prone to slips and falls because of poor balance and eyesight. Adults aged 65 and older often fall, and fail to tell their doctor until they feel something is wrong. Sadly, falling once increases their risk of falling again. 

Most slip and fall accidents occur in stores

Slips and falls can occur anywhere, but they most commonly occur in high-traffic areas like the grocery store, shopping centers, bars, and gas stations. 

Liquid on the floor often causes a slip

The presence of liquids on the floor can cause someone to slip. In gas stations, it can be due to a leak of automobile fluids. In grocery stores, it could a wet surface caused by a customer who did not report it to the employees.

In bars, it could be due to poor lighting. In some cases, the slip or fall can be due uneven walkways or a rolled-up doormat. During the winter season, falls can be from inadequately cleared sidewalks leading up to a business. 

Victims fail to report falls

People who fall often tend to immediately leave the area of the fall because they feel embarrassed. They think that they are at fault and that it was their responsibility to be more careful and wary of their surroundings. They fail to report the incident unless they had a really bad fall that caused them to be injured, unable to stand up. 

It can also happen that the fall turns out to be severe and causes the victim to inform the store of the incident. Now the victim will need to prove the fall occurred and the cause of the fall.

CCTV footage is unreliable

Most victims who fail to report their slip and fall cannot rely on CCTV cameras at the place of the incident. Often, cameras fail to catch the event as the camera may be directed in another direction. It could also be because the store deleted the footage, or there are no cameras where the accident happened. 

More women suffer from slip and fall injuries

In the study conducted by the CDC, it was noted that women are more prone to falling, and their falls often result in hip fractures. 

Safety tips

If you’re worried about falling yourself, or if you’re a home or business owner and want to ensure you keep your premises as safe as possible, here are some quick tips.

Talk to your doctor

If you are prone to falls and slips, talk to your doctor about it. They can identify any health problems that may contribute to your fall risk. They may prescribe medications to prevent dizziness that may contribute to falls. You might also need to use corrective lenses if your frequent falls are due to poor eyesight. 

Make your home and office safe

Keep the floor clear from any items that may cause you to to have a fall accident, particularly near the stairs and high traffic areas. Always make sure that you always pay attention to your path.

Don’t text or use the phone while walking so you can pay attention to any items or spilled liquids on the ground. If you see a liquid on the floor, dry it immediately (at home) or report it to the employees (office or store) so no one else will slip. 

Accidents like slips and falls can cause debilitating injuries. For some, even death. While it is a person’s responsibility to be mindful of their surroundings, businesses can do their part in preventing accidents from happening and reduce the likelihood of a serious accident.

Photo by Colin Czerwinski