Property Owners should Ensure that their Premises are not Maintained in such a Way that Serious Harm or Injury is likely to Occur to Others
Slip and fall is one very common accident in the U.S., but who would have thought that it is the reason behind 8 million hospital emergency room visits every year. This is not the only alarming fact about slip and fall accidents, though. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slip and fall:
- Accounts for 11% and 5% of the job-related fatalities for men and women, respectively;
- Is the leading cause of occupational injury for people at least 55 years old and the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims;
- Is the leading cause of lost days from work;
- Is the cause of death of more 15,000 people over the age of 65 in 2005; and,
- Causes hip fracture in 5% of all people who fall.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also says that materials used for flooring contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries every year. Some other causes of slip and fall accidents include: wet, oily, icy or slippery floors or surfaces: uneven, loose or broken floors, steps, sidewalks or stairs; a defective staircase; unsecured rugs or carpets; and hidden or tangled extension wires.
Rather than put the blame on injured victims, however, and say that the accident happened because they were not careful enough, personal injury lawyers, instead, hold property owners liable for injuries occurring within their properties. This is why slip and fall accidents are filed as premises liability cases (premises liability refers to a landowner’s accountability for injuries suffered by persons on his/her property due to a defective or unsafe condition). Injuries resulting to slipping, tripping or falling, are not the only scope of a premises liability lawsuit, though; it also includes injuries resulting from falling objects, electrocution, open excavations, broken chairs, and so forth.
As explained by the Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. law firm, “The law is in many ways an important vehicle for protecting the rights of property owners, but along with these rights come important responsibilities. Chief among these is the responsibility of property owners to ensure that their premises are not maintained in such a way that serious harm or injury is likely to occur to others. Should they fail to uphold this responsibility, property owners may be held responsible for injuries others suffer through a premises liability claim.
Premises liability laws are an important safeguard for ensuring that property owners do not allow dangerous conditions to develop or persist. As such, when property owners allow unsafe conditions, personal injury lawyers believe they should be held accountable by holding them liable for the harm they have caused. This gives victims of unsafe properties the chance to get both the justice and financial compensation they need.”