Our personal injury lawyers in Mississauga are no strangers to slip and fall accidents. Although commonly seen among those 65 and up, they’re an everyday occurrence. But why?
A slip and fall accident can take place anytime anywhere, from vacation rental properties and sidewalks to shopping malls and playgrounds. And its effects can vary from minor bruises and scratches to severe spinal cord injuries and skull fractures.
Knowing the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is the best way to avoid them.
To help you understand what constitutes such an injury, our slip and fall lawyers in Mississauga have prepared this guide. Keep reading to find out how these accidents occur.
Slip and Fall Accidents: The Most Common Reasons for Them
To reduce the risk of suffering a slip and fall injury, familiarize yourself with their most common causes.
1. Uneven and Wet Surfaces
This is by far the most common cause of slip and fall injuries in Canada and accounts for as much as 67% of such accidents. In the presence of the following situations, walking can become hazardous:
- Cluttered floors
- Loose mats and/or floorboards
- Defective sidewalks
- Poorly-constructed staircases
- Moisture collection
- Parking lot potholes
- Torn carpeting
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
Unfortunately, all of these are common in commercial, industrial, public, and domestic spaces, which is why they result in so many accidents. This makes preventing them everyone’s responsibility. So, individuals should make an effort to keep all floor areas uncluttered while maintaining good housekeeping standards. Also, regular checks must be made to ensure that flooring is safe for everyone to use.
2. Weather-Related Issues
Regrettably, no one can control the weather and this makes it another leading cause of slip and fall accidents. Hazardous conditions such as snow, rain, hail, and ice are some of the most common causes of mishaps. This makes it important for property owners to engage in winter safety procedures. Also, every citizen has the legal responsibility to clear their steps and walkways, and shovel sidewalks in front of their homes, while municipalities must plow streets. This helps protect passers-by and saves you from dealing with a slip and fall injury lawsuit that pays hefty compensation to the victim.
3. Broken Handrails
Another common factor that causes slip and fall accidents is a broken staircase handrail. While holding onto a handrail when ascending or descending a staircase can help maintain your balance, it won’t provide ample support if broken. In fact, it can cause you to lose your balance and put you at greater risk of falling which may lead to serious injuries. Also, if someone were to slip and fall due to a broken handrail on your property, they will likely deserve compensation.
4. Poor Lighting
Pavement and buildings with poor lighting can also cause slip and fall accidents. This is why public properties and workplaces should be well-lit to improve visibility, especially when individuals are walking at night.
Employers should also pay attention to the illumination of staircases, sidewalks, and walkways, as not installing proper lighting will make it difficult to safely navigate a space. Remember, if someone suffers a slip and fall accident on the premises, the owner or employer are held responsible for the individual’s damages.
5. Improper Safety Practices
Certain occupations may be at a higher risk of injuries from slips and falls when proper workplace safety practices aren’t followed. Some of these include:
- Manual laborers
- Custodial staff, including housekeepers
- Factory workers
- Chefs and kitchen staff
- Construction workers
To prevent such workplace accidents, employees should be properly trained on how to use the necessary equipment and tools. Furthermore, they should be provided with necessary safety equipment.
Where do slip and fall accidents happen most often?
Some of the most common places where slip and fall accidents occur include:
- Private homes
- Parks and playgrounds
- Movie and other theatres
- Rental properties and apartment complexes
- Garages and parking lots
- Assisted living facilities and nursing homes
What should you do if you have suffered a slip and fall accident?
If you or someone you know has suffered minor or severe injuries either in a private or public facility, you can legally file a claim against the negligent party. However, to ensure you are adequately and efficiently represented in a personal injury claim, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. This provides many benefits, outlined below:
- Their experience with slip and fall cases increases your chances of a positive outcome.
- Their exposure to similar cases allows them to figure out the proper value of your claim and any resulting settlement.
- Those with a proven track record of handling a wide range of cases, including slip and fall ones, will be in a stronger position to negotiate with insurance companies.
- They will be able to efficiently handle all the legal proceedings, including paperwork, and can reduce some of the stress that comes with personal injury cases.
- They are aware of the procedures involved with filing for a personal injury claim and will know which documents need to be submitted in court proceedings.
Hopefully, now you can see that most personal injury accidents can easily be prevented with proper attention and care, which is a lot less costly than going through a lawsuit and trial. Your best bet is to hire a personal injury lawyer or someone who specializes in slip and fall cases. They will be able to appropriately assess your situation and determine the value of the compensation you deserve.