Why a public slip-and-fall is no laughing matter

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Dramatic slip-and-falls, often precipitated by an errant banana peel, have long been a staple of visual comedy. Cartoons, printed comic strips and even live-action movies have used falls as a punchline or gag. The result of using this form of physical humor to entertain audiences is that the average person might mistakenly minimize the risk inherent in a slip-and-fall scenario.

While most people understand that a fall from any elevation is a potential source of injury risk, fewer people recognize how dangerous same-level falls can potentially be. Those who fall due to spills or unsecured rugs at a store might try to laugh off the incident. Doing so can be a mistake that could leave them struggling in the future.

Slip-and-falls can cause serious injuries

Even though people often assume they are minor incidents, slip-and-falls hurt hundreds of thousands of people annually. In fact, safety researchers estimate that approximately a million people each year go to emergency rooms because of slip-and-fall incidents.

Some of those patients are adults over the age of 55 who have a significantly increased risk of fractures when they fall. However, even young and healthy individuals can sustain severe injuries in a slip-and-fall. People can break bones when they try to catch themselves on their way to the floor. Those who fall could also potentially hit their heads, leading to traumatic brain injuries.

Leaving without reporting the issue is a mistake

One of the reasons it is so dangerous to dismiss a slip-and-fall incident as soon as it occurs is that the person who falls might fail to file a report with management at the business where the incident occurs. Companies generally maintain records of slip-and-falls and similar incidents where people get hurt.

Notifying the manager on duty of the incident prevents the business from deleting security camera footage and creates a verifiable record that the incident occurred. Someone who falls at a business may then need to seek out medical care to treat a broken bone or diagnose them with a brain injury. The sooner someone receives the diagnosis, the better their chances of connecting their condition to the slip-and-fall at the store.

Knowing how to respond to a slip-and-fall incident can save someone from a scenario in which they cannot seek compensation for their injuries. Those who speak up and see a doctor after a slip-and-fall can potentially file insurance claims or even lawsuits to recover the expenses caused by their injuries.

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Andrew Tarry