People who get hurt in slip-and-fall accidents sometimes blame themselves or get blamed by the very people who failed to safely maintain their properties. Most people will have heard of a slip-and-fall case involving someone who gets hurt because of a puddle accumulated by rainwater in an entranceway.
Fewer people stop to consider that slip-and-falls occur for many other reasons, often the responsibility of property owners or business managers. There are many ways that a business could increase the risk of someone getting hurt in a slip and fall.
If your situation involved any of the factors below, you may potentially have a claim based on negligent maintenance of the facility.
Ripped, lumpy or pulled-up mats
Having removable carpets or mats at the entrance of a business is a smart move. These mats can collect water or even dirt tracked in by visitors and give people an opportunity to clean the soles of their shoes off when entering the space.
However, such floor coverings need to be secure in their position and heavy enough that they won’t come off the floor and possibly trip people or get tangled in crutches, wheelchairs or strollers. Poorly maintained mats can easily lead to someone falling and getting hurt.
Poorly maintained flooring
Linoleum can peel up around the edges, while carpet may rip and have holes that catch someone’s shoe edges or high heels. Flooring with surface issues can be dangerous, as can warped subfloors that lead to uneven surfaces. Both of these are issues that business owners should address because they might lead to people falling and getting hurt.
Wiring or display racks that impede traffic
It should take a lot of electricity to power certain lights or refrigeration units. Some businesses trying to retrofit an existing structure have to get creative with how they mount their displays or provide electricity to certain parts of the store.
When they run wires or extension cords along the floor or have supports or tie downs in areas where they might impede people’s steps, the business could directly contribute to people getting hurt on the premises.
If the situation involves cleaning or maintenance issues that the average person would say caused a risk of a fall, the courts may side with you when you claim the business was negligent. Evaluating the circumstances that led to your fault can give you a better idea of whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit or premises liability insurance claim.