Maryland slip and fall accident attorneys have seen it many times, a very simple accident that can cause very serious injuries. These mishaps send about one million people to the emergency room each year. While some falls only cause bruises or broken bones, some are fatal. An estimated 15 percent of all accidental deaths in the United States are due to slip and fall accidents. They are second only to car accidents.
No one wants to fall and suffer an injury. Not only would you have to deal with pain and discomfort, but you could lose out on wages while you recover. When you can’t work, your medical bills will begin to pile up. The good news is that, in many cases, the entity who owns or manages the land can be held legally responsible.
Property owners and managers have a legal duty to prevent accidents. If they breach that duty, they should have to accept liability. If you slipped and fell and suffered injuries, you need to contact an attorney for advice and representation. Let’s look at some of the main causes of slip and fall accidents.
Adverse weather conditions including heavy rain and snow lead to many slip and fall accidents. While property owners can’t control the weather, they still need to take reasonable steps to reduce danger. For example, they have a responsibility to put salt on walkways and steps and to shovel sidewalks when it snows. If they don’t do so and someone gets injured, the victim can seek compensation.
Wet and Uneven Surfaces
Wet and uneven surfaces are the most common cause of slip and fall accidents. They present hazards in commercial, domestic, and industrial settings as well as public spaces. Wet and uneven surfaces include:
- Loose mats
- Torn carpeting
- Loose floorboards
- Poorly built stairs
- Newly waxed or mopped floors
- Moisture collection
- Uneven pavements
If you get hurt because of one of these hazards, you should reach out to a Maryland slip and fall lawyer. They will help you to determine if you have a case.
Environmental factors that can lead to slips and falls include:
- Loose cords running across a floor or walkway
- Poor lighting
- Bright lighting that creates glare on the floor
- Clutter or trash on the floor
- Open cabinets and drawers
Nursing Home Neglect
It may come as a surprise but another common cause of slip and fall accidents is nursing home neglect. Older people are at an increased risk of falling because of problems with balance, mobility, and in some cases, judgment. Given that their bodies are often frail, falls can be life-threatening. While some falls are no one’s fault, some occur because staff don’t adequately monitor or assist patients.
Improper Safety Practices
Many slip and fall injuries occur at workplaces. Workers need to be trained in the safe use of the tools and equipment they utilize. They should also be given the protective gear they need to help them stay safe. While anyone can slip and fall when proper safety practices aren’t observed, some workers are more at risk than others. These include:
- Construction workers
- Housekeepers and other custodial workers
- Manual laborers
- Factory workers
- Kitchen staff
How You Can Prevent Slips and Fall Accidents
You must do everything you can to avoid slipping and falling on someone else’s property. Even though property owners must provide a safe environment, they can’t be held liable for every injury. If your carelessness contributed to your fall, you won’t be able to get compensation. Under Maryland’s contributory negligence system, victims who are even one percent at fault for their accident can’t claim damages.
To prevent slip and fall accidents, you should:
- Look to see where you’re going. This may seem simple, but it is one of the best ways to stay safe. Many people get distracted by cell phones or other people and they don’t notice hazards.
- Wear appropriate footwear. Believe it or not, a property owner can deny liability for your injuries because you were wearing incorrect footwear. As much as possible, make sure you choose your footwear based on your surroundings and expected activities.
- Be conscious of your surroundings. Some places are more likely to present dangerous situations than others. Grocery stores can be hazardous because there are liquids, wet items, and freezers around. Similarly, store floors may be cluttered during busy shopping periods. You need to extra careful in these places.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC to Discuss Your Case
If you believe a property owner’s negligence led to your slip and fall injuries, seek legal advice. Pinder Plotkin LLC is a Maryland law firm that handles slip and fall cases, and we are ready to assist you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.