Relatively minor slip-and-fall accidents can be embarrassing for those who fall, but it also doesn’t take much for a fall to leave someone with more than wounded pride. Falls can result in serious head injuries, broken bones and/or strained or torn muscles and ligaments. They can be particularly dangerous for older people and those who already have compromised mobility.
A slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident can happen just about anywhere and particularly if the ground or flooring is wet, slippery or unstable. These are just a few of the public locations where these injuries often occur.
Stores (and shopping malls)
Most people find themselves in a grocery store or retail location of some kind at least once a week. Grocery store floors can be particularly dangerous because spills occur often and aren’t always detected or cleaned up quickly. Any floor can be dangerous if it’s just been mopped, if water has been tracked in or someone has spilled a drink they were carrying. Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls account for a larger percentage of retail losses than any other factor.
Whether someone is running in to pick up an order or sitting down for a meal, restaurants of all kinds can have slippery floors – most likely because of spills that haven’t been cleaned up. Even restaurants that are largely carpeted can have uncarpeted entry and waiting areas where rain, etc. can get tracked in.
These are an all-too-common location of falls – usually due to wet floors. Earlier this year, for example, Burger King was ordered to pay a customer over $7 million after he slipped in a “wet foreign substance” in one of its restrooms and suffered serious injuries and further complications.
Was the property owner negligent?
It can be difficult for a person to determine whether a property owner is responsible for a fall or not. Generally, it depends on whether they neglected their duty of care to anyone with a right to be on their premises.
Don’t let a manager try to blame you for a fall in the moment or get you to accept the responsibility by signing a liability waiver. It’s important to first determine the extent of your injuries. It can also help to seek legal guidance to protect your rights in the wake of a slip or trip and fall in a public place.