About 25,000 slip-and-fall accidents take place each day in Pennsylvania and around the country, and most of them could be prevented if building owners and occupiers took simple steps to learn about and address conditions that could pose a danger to their employees and visitors. Failing to take these measures can lead to injuries and premises liability lawsuits, and the damages awarded in these cases can be significant if slip-and-fall accident victims suffer serious injuries.
Slippery floors and poorly lit areas
Slips and falls often occur when spilled liquid makes tile floors slippery or employees or visitors make their way through dimly lit areas. To prevent slip-and-fall accidents and avoid potentially expensive litigation, building owners or occupiers should clean up spills promptly, place warning signs in areas where spills are likely and ensure that all parts of their properties are adequately illuminated. They can also reduce the chances of accidents and injuries by treating floors in high-traffic areas with slip-resistant materials and conducting regular inspections.
Checking properties regularly is an important preventative step because building owners and occupiers are held responsible for dangerous conditions that they should be aware of. In 2008, a Pennsylvania jury awarded a man who broke his back after falling through an open manhole $85 million. The energy company that was ordered to pay the money claimed manhole covers were removed illegally all the time, but it did not conduct regular checks to find open manholes and replace missing manhole covers.
An expensive mistake
Failing to take basic steps to prevent slip-and-fall accidents and injuries can be an expensive mistake. This type of accident is extremely common, and the damages awarded to plaintiffs who suffer serious injuries in preventable accidents are sometimes measured in millions. Conducting regular property inspections is especially important because building owners are responsible for dangerous conditions that they know about or should know about.