Slip and Fall Injuries Caused by Wet or Slippery Floors
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States, and slippery floors are a common factor in many of them. These injuries can lead to expensive medical bills and force victims to take time off work to heal. Day-to-day expenses can become overwhelming after a serious fall-related injury, and the pain and suffering can serve as a constant reminder of the accident.
Property owners and places of business have a particular obligation to prevent these types of accidents that can injure visitors and patrons. Wet and slippery floors are a danger to anyone who walks on them, and businesses have a duty to prevent and/or clean up these hazards promptly.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a slip and fall accident caused by a wet or slippery floor in South Carolina, contact our experienced premises liability attorneys now. Our dedicated slip and fall lawyers can visit you in your home or hospital room if you are unable to come to one of our offices. Call (866) 465-7851 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Common Causes of Wet or Slippery Floors
There are many factors that may cause a person to slip and fall on dangerous or poorly maintained property. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health identifies several risk factors that contribute to slip and fall accidents:
- Spills on walking surfaces
- Ice, snow, or rain
- Loose mats or rugs
- Boxes or containers that obstruct vision
- Poor lighting
- Walking surfaces in disrepair
In the case of spills or just regular cleaning, floors can remain slippery even after they have been recently mopped. Employees or management should put out a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign to alert customers to the danger of a recently mopped floor.
Injuries Caused by Wet Floors
People who slip on wet floors can suffer a variety of injuries depending on how they fall. People who fall backward may have injures complicated by items they land on as can people who fall forward.
Depending on the various contributing factors, some of the injuries people may suffer include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Knee or ankle injury
- Wrist or elbow injury
- Shoulder injury
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Muscle sprains or strains
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Some slip and fall accidents may result in fatal injuries. Family members of the deceased may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party in pursuit of financial damages after a fatal fall.
Property Owner Responsibility
Places of business in South Carolina have a duty to their customers to keep their premises as safe as possible. This means that all walkways need to be kept free from hazards that can cause accidents.
When a person is injured in a slip and fall accident, he or she will have to prove the same four elements central to any negligence claim:
- The property owner had a duty of care to the victim.
- The property owner breached that duty of care.
- That breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries.
- Those injuries resulted in damages.
Many business owners will immediately deny liability following these accidents, and many will claim that victims were at fault for their injuries. It is important to have a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer on your side who can dispute these types of claims and build a strong case for you.
Injuries Caused by a Failure to Warn
When a person is injured in an accident on a wet floor and there was no warning sign, the property owner will usually be considered negligent. Whenever a business mops its floors, an employee should always place some kind of warning sign. Failure to do so can result in preventable slip and fall injuries.
Property owners may claim that they had no way of knowing a floor was wet if the slippery nature was caused by some unexpected event such as a spill. However, property owners must take reasonable precautions to keep their premises safe from such dangers. So, for example, if aisles in a grocery store are not regularly monitored for such accidents, and a spill is ignored or goes unnoticed, the property owner may still be held responsible for accidents caused by it.
Try to take pictures of any wet floors after your fall. Not all substances appear well in pictures, but try to capture the scene to the best of your ability. Also, save your shoes or any clothing that came into contact with the slippery substance, as it could help with a later investigation into your accident.
Wet Floor Injury Statistics
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), one in every three people over 65 years of age will experience a fall every year in the United States. Half of these victims are repeat fallers.
The NFSI reported falls are the second-leading cause of injury-related death for people between the ages of 65 and 84 but are the leading cause of injury-related death for those who are 85 years of age or older. Additionally, 60 percent of deaths associated with falls involved people 75 years of age or older.
Falls account for 87 percent of all fractures among people over 65 years of age and are the second-leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury. Falls are also the sixth-leading cause of death among people 70 years of age or older and 40 percent of all nursing home admissions.
Talk to a Wet Floor Accident Attorney Today
Did you suffer catastrophic injuries after falling on a wet or slippery floor in South Carolina? Make sure you contact Stewart Law Offices, as soon as possible to talk to an experienced premises liability attorney.
Our law firm has offices in Rock Hill, Columbia, Spartanburg, and Beaufort in South Carolina as well as an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. We can review your case as soon as you call (866) 465-7851 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.