Close to one million people are hospitalized annually due to injuries related to a slip and fall. In places where snow and ice are issues, the number of injuries due to slipping and falling can be expected to be high. Here in Florida, a slip and fall may not be due to ice or snow, however, there are plenty of other hazards of which to be aware.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
It’s more than just stumbling in the dark, although that also leads to trips and falls. People trip over a variety of things, such as clutter on the floor, wrinkled carpeting, electrical cords, and uneven surfaces. Sometimes a trip causes you to lose your balance but you are able to recover before falling. Other times, you fall. Taking the time to assess the path in front of you will eliminate most tripping issues. Poor lighting can make that difficult, however. Tripping on an uneven floor in a theater is an example of this.
People slip for a variety of reasons. Slick floors are a common area for injury. A newly waxed or polished floor or one that is wet can be hazardous. However, if it’s raining outside and you enter a building with wet shoes, you could lose traction even though the floor may be dry. Some flooring has differing degrees of traction that can also cause you to slip.
Most of the time people fall after slipping on a slick surface or tripping over something like a loose or wrinkled rug or mat. These are the most common reasons people fall in public areas. The Consumer Product Safety Commission cites floors and flooring materials as the main cause of over two million fall injuries every year.
People may also fall down the stairs, or fall from ladders or off a roof. These types of falls could be considered more common to workplace hazards, rather than problems for the general public.
Slip and Fall Facts
More women slip and fall than do men, though the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that men have about twice as many job-related fatal falls as women. The most serious consequence of falling is fractures, which occur in about 5% of all those who fall.
Across all age groups, the leading cause of nonfatal unintentional injury is a fall. The only age group where this does not apply is in 15-24 year-olds. For this group, falls come in a close second to being unintentionally struck by or against something, according to statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. To slip and fall can be a serious matter regardless of your age.
Unintentional deaths related to falls totaled over 32,000 in 2016. This is the third highest cause of unintentional death according to Injury Facts 2016®, and the elderly are most at risk for falling.
To keep yourself safe from a slip and fall when you are out and about, be sure to wear shoes with adequate traction. Be aware of the path ahead and avoid cluttered areas and uneven surfaces if possible. Also, avoid waking on slick, wet floors when possible; walk with caution if you can’t avoid it.
In the event that you have had a slip and fall that could have been prevented and resulted in personal injury, contact us at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. law office. With offices in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood we assist area residents in pursuing compensation for personal injury losses. Your initial consultation is complimentary.