Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | October 7, 2021 | Slip and Fall Accidents
Falls occur in two ways — falls from a height and falls on the same elevation. Falls from a height, such as a ladder or a roof, account for about 40% of all falls. Falls on the same elevation, including slip and fall accidents, account for about 60% of all falls.
Here are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in New York City.
How Slip and Fall Accidents Happen
Slip and fall accidents occur when you lose traction on a surface. Without traction, your feet tend to slide forward due to your momentum.
As you lose your balance, you fall backward. A backward fall can cause serious injuries because you cannot use your arms to catch yourself and slow your fall.
Some common slip and fall injuries include:
- A fractured skull
- Fractured vertebrae
- A fractured hip
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Ruptured discs
- Back, neck, or shoulder strain
Slip and fall accidents can also cause other injuries if you hit something as you fall. For example, if you slip on a ramp or stairwell, you could fracture ribs as you fall into a railing.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can result from anything that reduces the friction between your feet and the ground, including:
- Liquid spills
- Standing water
- Ice and snow
- Waxed floors
- Oil, grease, or other lubricants on the floor or your shoes
One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in grocery stores is spilled produce. Grapes, berries, tomatoes, and other fresh produce have high water content. When you step on them, they instantly create a layer of liquid between your shoes and the floor that can cause you to lose traction.
Differences with Trip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are often grouped with trip and fall accidents. These types of accidents have the same legal consequences if they result from negligence by the owner or occupier of the premises. But they do differ in how they happen and the injuries they cause.
Trip and fall accidents happen when your foot gets impeded, and your momentum causes you to fall forward. As a result, these accidents usually cause injuries to the front of your body rather than the back of your body. You can also injure your hands, wrists, and arms because you will probably try to break your fall.
Some common trip and fall injuries include:
- Fractured wrists or arms
- Facial fractures or bruises
- Dental fractures
- Fractured ribs
- Strained or fractured knees
- Brain injuries
Trip and fall accidents usually result from uneven or littered surfaces such as:
- Wrinkled or torn carpet
- Unmarked steps
- Raised or broken sidewalks
- Raised thresholds
Tripping hazards often require more work to remedy than slipping hazards. As a result, many owners and occupiers of premises will place warning signs or mark the hazard rather than fixing it.
Contributing Causes for Falling Accidents
Additional factors can contribute to the risk of slip and fall accidents and trip and fall accidents. Some contributing causes for falling accidents include:
- Low temperature
- High humidity
- Poor lighting
- Reflective floors
- Lack of handrails
When these conditions exist, the likelihood of a falling accident will increase.
The age and condition of the premises’ guests will also contribute to the risk of falls. Seniors have a higher risk of falls than younger people. Falls cause over 110,000 New York seniors to visit the emergency room every year.
People who are injured or ill also have a higher risk of falls. The government estimates that between 700,000 and 1 million patients fall in hospitals every year.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents in New York City
Not all slip and fall accidents support an injury claim. You must prove negligence by the owner or occupier of the premises to recover injury compensation. This usually requires you to prove the owner or occupier failed to exercise reasonable care in finding, fixing, or warning of the hazard that caused the fall.