Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

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Slip, trip and fall accidents are some of the most common reasons behind emergency department visits in Nebraska. Slip and falls can happen anywhere, at any time – including in the workplace, at a store or business, in a public park, or right at home.

If someone’s failure to adequately inspect and maintain his or her property contributed to a slip and fall accident, that person or party may be financially responsible for related injuries and expenses. Determining whether a victim has grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit in Omaha takes understanding the cause of the slip and fall accident.

Wet or Slippery Floors

Slippery surfaces dramatically increase the odds of a slip and fall accident. Wet, greasy or slick surfaces can make it difficult or impossible for a person to safely walk from one place to another. It is a property owner’s legal responsibility to frequently check for spills or other hazards that could cause a slip and fall accident, such as:

  • Spilled liquids
  • Food debris
  • Splashed grease
  • Oil leaks
  • Pipe leaks
  • Recently mopped floors
  • Freshly waxed floors
  • Rain, ice or snow tracked inside

There are steps a property owner can take to reduce the odds of wet or slippery floors. For example, the manager of a grocery store can have protocols in place for immediately mopping up wet surfaces. A property owner could also use moisture-absorbing mats, anti-skid paint or adhesive strips to increase traction.

Uneven Surfaces

A surface that is uneven increases the risk of a slip or trip and fall accident. Uneven surfaces are more difficult for visitors and customers to safely navigate, as the floors may unexpectedly dip down or rise up. Uneven surfaces can arise due to construction errors or defective flooring materials that warp over time from heat and moisture. A property owner should inspect for uneven surfaces and schedule repairs as soon as possible.

Parking Lot and Curb Defects

Parking lot slip and fall accidents are common in the City of Omaha. These accidents can take place as a result of surface defects such as potholes, loose gravel, cracked sidewalks or uneven curbs. A business owner is responsible for the safety of his or her parking lot and sidewalks. If the parking lot is on public property, the city or state government could be liable for an accident instead.

Loose Carpets or Rugs

Having obstacles in the way of foot traffic increases the risk of slip, trip and fall accidents. A store with cluttered aisles, for example, can be difficult for customers to navigate without tripping over products or protruding shelves. Some of the most common culprits are loose carpets, rugs or mats – especially on staircases. It is important for property owners to keep their premises clear of clutter, debris, obstacles or other obstructions that can increase the risk of falls.

Failure to Warn

Property owners in Nebraska do not only have a legal responsibility to maintain safe premises; they also have an obligation to warn visitors of any known defects or hazards that are not obvious. If a floor gets slippery when it is raining, for example, a property owner has a responsibility to put up “Caution: Wet Floor” signs to reduce the risk of foreseeable slip and fall accidents. Failing to warn visitors of known property hazards or defects can place liability for a slip and fall accident with the property owner.

When to Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Omaha, Nebraska, consult with an attorney right away. The owner of the property may owe you and your family financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses. An attorney can explain your rights, investigate your slip and fall accident, gather evidence, determine the defendant, hire experts, and help you fight for maximum recovery.

Contact the Omaha slip and fall lawyers at Knowles Law Firm today for a free legal consultation.