The banana peel — a classic device of slapstick comedy, used to send an unsuspecting victim into the air and swiftly to the ground. Though funny on the silver screen or in the context of a cartoon, slip and fall risks can be very serious concerns for a wide swath of people across the U.S. and around the world. Causing everything from serious bruising to broken bones, a simple slip and fall can lead to complicated legal and medical complications that one would be wise to avoid at all costs.
Let’s first examine who is most at risk of slip and fall accidents.
Who Faces the Highest Number of Slip and Fall Risks?
Simply put, none of us are immune from slip and fall risks. Anyone who walks anywhere ever risks tripping over uneven pavement, slipping on slick surfaces or falling over an unseen obstacle in a walking path. However, many are especially susceptible to both slip and fall accidents, as well as the injuries that can come from these accidents.
- The Elderly: People of advanced ages, even those that remain active well into their senior years, can face major risks of slip and fall injuries. Brittle bones, decreased mobility, diminished eyesight and other factors can all lead to a higher chance of both trip and slip and fall accidents, as well as more serious injuries than a younger person.
- Children: Kids are notorious for running, jumping and playing with reckless abandon. Though children often bounce back from injury with miraculous speed, they also often do not look where they are running and, without supervision, can put themselves in danger by running on pool decks or on uneven sidewalks.
- Mobility Challenged: Those who may have already sustained previous injury or are suffering from a disability that impacts mobility when walking face risk of tripping or slipping on wet floors, kinks in carpet, unseen electronics cords and other common items.
How Can I Avoid a Slip and Fall Risk?
Even if you are not someone at highest risk for slip and fall injuries, that does not mean that you are exempt from taking precautions when going about your day. Slip and fall risks are everywhere and, as we mention above, can pose real dangers to everyone with the ability to walk. There are, however, a few extremely simple ways that you can avoid an expensive trip to the hospital and a lot of avoidable pain and suffering.
- Pool: An immediate and common risk for many Floridians revolves around the swimming pool. We are blessed with nearly year-round sunshine and warmth and are allowed the luxury of swimming and relaxing poolside more often than our neighbors farther from the equatorial belt of warmth. Pool decks and wet floors are high-risk areas, especially if people are wearing low-traction footwear (sandals) or walking quickly.
To avoid slip and fall risks by the pool, slow down, wear footwear with grip and do not forget to be careful even when back inside — water can drip from other swimmers, leading to wet floors and more high risks, even off of the pool deck.
- Outdoors: From hiking trails to the sidewalk that wraps around your suburban neighborhood, the outdoors poses a few risks that you should be aware of. Though not specifically slip and fall risks, there are many trip and fall risks that come into play when walking outdoors. Uneven pavement, a garden hose left out after washing a car, exposed tree roots, branches and rocks can all trip up unaware walkers, joggers and runner.
To avoid these obstacles, be extra careful on trails and paths that you have not travelled before and always be aware of your footing. It only takes a neighbor’s skateboard left on the sidewalk to send you straight to the hospital.
- At Home: Yes, there are even slip and fall risks in your own home. Many common slip and fall risks occur in the kitchen, where cooking oil and dish soap can easily end up on tile floors. Showers have similar issues, with slippery soaps and shampoos often making a slippery film on the already slippery floor. Besides slippery surfaces, obstacles like toys, kinked carpets, wires or even pets can be common tripping risks.
Stay safe by cleaning up soap and oil as soon as it spills. Also, do you best to keep wiring tidy and out of walking paths, as well as toys and other small objects that may be easily tripped over. Shower floor grip is an easy way to add safety to a high-risk area.
Though slip and fall risks should not keep you from taking an afternoon stroll along a new walking trail or fearing that morning swim, it is always important to keep these dangers in mind. These risks affect people of all ages and abilities, however, those with preexisting mobility issues, the elderly and young children should be especially cautious in order to avoid serious, even possibly fatal, injuries.
If you are unfortunately injured due to the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact our slip and fall attorneys today to receive the compensation you deserve.