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Understanding and preventing slip and fall accidents

It is not uncommon for residents in Pennsylvania to enter the property of another. Whether it is a house, restaurant, store or business, there is a certain expectation that the property owners have taken the steps necessary to avoid a serious injury to them. When a slip and fall incident occurs, the injured party could suffer greatly due to the negligence of the property owner.

Because the aftermath of a slip and fall accident could be grave, it is important that property owners understand how to address these situations and to avoid future incidents. A recent study reported that slip and fall incidents are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths occurring in homes and communities. For example, in 2009, more than 25,000 fatalities occurred as a result of a slip and fall accident.

Locations where these slip, trips and falls occur are common in doorways, on ramps, in cluttered hallways, heavy traffic areas, on uneven surfaces, areas that are prone to wetness or spills, heights that are unguarded, stairs, ladders and unstable work surfaces. In order to prevent these types of incidents, property owners should fix or correct possible and known risks.

It is important to secure any cords on the ground, remove tripping hazards, periodically check the conditions of hallways, doorways and steps and clean up any spill immediately. While these steps could help reduce the occurrences of slip and fall accidents, these incidents still occur. When this happens a property owner could be held accountable and face a civil action. An injured party could file a premises liability suit, which could result in compensation being awarded to cover expenses related to the accident.

A slip and fall accident could cause serious injuries and require a lengthy recovery. The victim might not be able to walk again immediately, and the incident could severely impact their life. In these situations, it is important to understand their rights and legal remedies available to them. This will ensure they take appropriate and timely action.

Source: National Safety Council, "Slip, Trips and Falls," accessed on Oct. 6, 2014

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