4 Tips To Prevent Slips, Trips And Falls In Illinois Workplaces
Last updated Thursday, June 17th, 2021
Workplaces should be safe for workers, employers, and people who visit the site but sometimes accidents do happen. Particularly, one of the most common accident types in the workplace is trips, slips, and falls. These happen due to circumstance and human error but if you read on you’ll see there are ways to prevent slips. trips and falls so they don’t happen.
1. Safety Footwear
One of the most overlooked features in the workplace, even in the construction or industrial sectors, is the type of sole on the bottom of shoes and boots. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, it’s advisable to wear boots or shoes with rubber soles and the softer the rubber the better.
The density and flexibility of rubber mean it provides a better grip on a variety of surfaces allowing for more secure traction even when the floor is wet. This decreases the chances of someone falling and potentially hurting themselves especially in the absence of safety signs.
2. Safety Signs
Using safety signs is a legal requirement in most countries. Especially in places where accidents are bound to occur. However, sometimes errors of judgment or oversight mean they aren’t used.
For example, cleaners who work in commercial settings after business hours and alone sometimes choose not to use safety signs. In a perfect accident scenario, the floors have been mopped but because the cleaner is alone and not expecting anyone, they decide not to put the Wet Floor sign out.
Someone then comes to the premises unexpectedly and slips on the wet floor. This person then has the right to call a lawyer and sue for damages, especially in the event of an injury. Therefore, everyone should prevent trips, slips, and falls by using safety signs. You never know who might be about and a sign protects them from injury and you or the company from prosecution.
3. Safety Equipment
Some people work a job for so long that they become over-familiar with their tasks and think they can get away with not using safety equipment. From not stabilizing ladders properly to not wearing safety harnesses on multi-story scaffolding, it’s an easy thing to do when you’re over-familiar with what you do. However, this can be a costly mistake when you slip, trip, or fall.
Safety equipment is there to protect you, other team members, the public, and your employer. Therefore, use safety equipment even if it’s a two-minute job. It saves lives.
4. Site Maintenance
Buildings suffer wear and tear over time which is something everybody knows. However, sometimes such wear and tear can create tripping hazards. A worn piece of carpet or linoleum can stick up and cause someone to trip or fall.
The best practice to prevent slips, trips, or falls here is to secure the area or put a notice near the hazard until it’s repaired. It only takes a few seconds but could save someone a nasty injury.
Wires are another issue when it comes to accidents. Left strewn about where people walk, unsecured wires will most definitely cause someone to trip or fall. Therefore, secure them with cable ties or a cable tidy to keep them out of the way and to prevent others from tripping on them.
Five Steps To Take After A Slip And Fall Accident
More than a million Americans become victims of a slip and fall accident each year, due to property negligence such as damaged walkways, wet surfaces, open holes, and obstructions. These can result in untold pain and suffering and billions in medical bills and lost earnings.
Far too many victims of these types of accidents fail to ever recover a dime from the parties responsible for their injuries because slip and fall victims don’t realize their injuries were caused by the negligence of an employer, business owner, property owner or a government entity such as a city or state.
Victims of slip and fall accidents need to have the presence of mind to make the right choices that will bolster their personal injury attorney’s chances of succeeding in court on their behalf. This is tough because slip and fall victims are often in shock and pain for a considerable amount of time after an accident and legal action is usually the last thing they’re thinking about.
However, if they or a loved one can gather information, their chance of recovering money owed to them drastically increases.
Here’s a checklist for the right moves after a slip and fall accident:
1. Seek medical attention – Even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to seek care as some of the consequences of a slip and fall injury may not be immediately apparent. Getting medical treatment also documents your injuries and this information may come in handy in court.
2. Document witnesses – Collect the names and contact information of people who witness the accident. These witnesses can come in handy if litigation ensues.
3. File a Report—with security, property management, or other authorities, even the police if necessary, to document the event.
4. Get photos ASAP – Get photos of the area where you fell and of your injuries. This evidence can be helpful in pressing your claims in court.
Can You Receive Compensation For A Slip And Fall On Ice?
Can you receive compensation if you slip and fall on ice? That depends. During cold weather, it’s common for ice to form on streets and sidewalks. With ice prevalent in cold regions there are quite a few slip and fall accidents.
A fall on ice has the potential to cause serious, even life-threatening injuries. Ice isn’t very forgiving and when you unexpectedly fall on it, nothing good happens. If you’re lucky you’ll walk away with a few bruises and be sore for a few days.
If you’re unlucky you could break bones or suffer injuries that leave you permanently disabled or worse. Therefore, if you fall on ice and suffer an injury, should you receive compensation for your injuries?
If You Slip And Fall On Ice On Private Property You May Receive Compensation
Every year more than 80,000 people are hospitalized due to a fall. Hospital visits aren’t cheap, so if you fall on ice on someone’s property, you’re probably very keen to learn whether or not you can file a lawsuit.
The answer is not a clear cut yes or no. To file a lawsuit you need to show that the owner of the property has liability due to negligent behavior on their part. The main criteria are whether or not the property owner has taken reasonable steps to keep their property safe.
This is shown by asking the following questions:
- Was the property owner aware of the snowy or icy condition and did they fail to take reasonable steps to eliminate the hazard?
- Would a reasonable person realize that the presence of ice or snow in this location could lead to injuries?
- Were your injuries due to the negligence of the property owner?
- Can your injuries be medically verified?
- Did your actions contribute to your injuries? For example, did you see ice on the floor, choose to walk across it, and then fell?
What Should You Do If You Sustain An Injury After Slipping And Falling On Ice?
The first thing you should do after falling on ice and suffering an injury is to attend to your injuries. Seek whatever medical care that you need because nothing is more important than your health. After you have received medical care for your injuries you can start to look at whether or not you have grounds for a lawsuit.
The only way to know whether or not you should sue the property owner where you were injured is to talk to a lawyer. Ideally, you will speak with a lawyer that has extensive experience in personal injury lawsuits.
If your lawyer determines that the owner of the property was negligent in their care of it, you could be entitled to damages for medical bills, pain, and suffering and lost wages. Therefore, if you sustain an injury after slipping on ice on someone else’s property, the best thing that you can do to protect your rights is to speak with a slip and fall lawyer.
What To Prove In A Slip And Fall Injury Claim
When you or a loved one has fallen down on someone else’s property and you’re trying to seek justice for this accident through the means of a lawsuit, you’ll have to prove your injuries to the court to win. In certain circumstances, you’ll have the favor of the judge and jury if you can prove specific points. It also helps if you have the help of a lawyer. What are these specific points to prove in a slip and fall injury claim to help you to win?
Liability for a Slip and Fall Injury Claim
When you slip and fall on someone’s property because of dangerous conditions, your lawyer will need to be able to show some proof of your injuries by:
- The property owner or staff should have noticed the state of the area because another reasonable individual in their place would have known about that specific area and tried to fix it or put a warning up while it was trying to be fixed.
- The property owner did know about the dangerous condition but showed negligence and didn’t make any effort to fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
- Or, the property owner or employees caused the dangerous, problematic area by the means of a spill, broken floor, leak, or another method.
Most property owners are good about the maintenance of their properties. This is usually the first point under discussion in a slip and fall case. The first point is also hard to prove because of the words “should have noticed.” It comes down to a jury deciding whether the property owner should have noticed the slippery spot that caused your fall injury.
Rationality for the Reasonable Person
When you present your evidence to show how a property owner is liable for the injuries you may have sustained when you slipped and fell, you will have to show how the property owner was negligent in their actions.
Your lawyer will have to prove how a reasonable person would act in that same situation. To explain it plainly, a reasonable person in the law of negligence is the creation of a legal fiction. That person is an ideal focusing on how a normal person, with average judgment skills, would act in certain circumstances.
Based on this information, a jury would decide if the defendant had acted as a reasonable person in light of what had happened. To help your legal defense you might want to help your attorney with some of the following facts about your case.
- Did your slip and fall accident involve tripping over something on the floor that would otherwise not be there?
- What kinds of cleaning activities did the property owner regularly do and how often did occur?
- If the slip and fall was the result of a leak in the roof, did the property owner allow a normal amount of time to fix it or did he leave it in this condition for months?
- Could it have been said that a reasonable person would have slipped and fallen in the same situation?
When To Hire A Slip And Fall Attorney
Most slip and fall accidents occur as a result of negligence and can cause serious injury. Whether you intend to take your slip and fall case to court or have an out of court settlement, you will benefit significantly from the services and professional advice of a slip and fall attorney.
Hiring an Attorney is Important for the Following Reasons:
1. If you go to court unrepresented, you may end up causing irreparable damage to your case. You could even lose your rightly deserved damages. Hiring a legal advisor will help ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injury.
2. Most slip and fall attorneys operate on a contingency basis. In other words, you will not be expected to pay them anything unless you win the case. This makes them extra motivated to fight for you and win your case.
3. Even if your case does not go to court, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance companies for you. Chances are, you will get a much larger settlement if you are represented.
4. If your case goes to trial, you will need a lawyer to decide whether there is enough evidence of negligence to sustain your claim in court. Otherwise, a defense lawyer may take advantage of the situation and claim that your injuries are self-inflicted.
5. If you have a legitimate case and are seeking damages, you will want to hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer. While your case may appear straight forward, you will find that attempting to represent yourself is extremely risky.
6. A trained legal practitioner will have in-depth knowledge of all statutes relevant to your case. And, they will ensure that all-important documentation is filled out on time so that your case is not time-barred.
If you are contemplating hiring a slip and fall attorney, find one with a proven track record in negotiating settlements. This saves you plenty of time and frustration and ensures you get the compensation you deserve.
Why You Should Contact A Lawyer If You Sustain A Slip And Fall Injury
If you suffer a slip and fall injury at a business or at someone’s home, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. This will allow you to find out if you may be able to file a lawsuit due to your accident. Just because you slipped and fell and suffered an injury, as a result, doesn’t automatically mean that the property owner was at fault.
Circumstances have to play out in a certain way for a property owner to be liable for negligence. How do you know if your slip and fall accident could be blamed on negligence on the part of the property owner? The best way to know for certain is to contact a lawyer who has experience in personal injury claims.
When Is A Property Owner Considered Negligent?
If you want to sue a property owner for your slip and fall accident you’ll have to show that they were negligent and that their negligence caused your accident . In order for a property owner to be found negligent, you’ll have to show that there was an unsafe condition. Plus, you’ll need to prove that they knew about it and it caused your accident.
For example, if someone were to walk into a store, spill something and not inform anyone in the store, the store would have no knowledge of the unsafe condition. Then, a few minutes later you walk down that aisle and fall.
As long as the store can show that they monitor the conditions on their sales floor and there’s no way they could know about the spill, you’ll have a hard time proving that they were negligent.
What Kind Of Damages Can You Receive For A Slip And Fall Injury?
If you suffer injuries as a result of a slip and fall and the property owner was negligent, you’re legally entitled to the following compensation:
- Reimbursement for the cost of your medical treatment.
- Compensation for your loss of wages while you recover from your injuries.
- Compensation for the pain and suffering that you endured as a result of your injury.
- A monetary settlement for any permanent disability that you suffer as a result of your accident.
If you suffer a slip and fall accident and sustain an injury, or have a permanent total disability from that fall, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. An experienced lawyer can look at the circumstances surrounding your case. Then he or she can make a determination as to whether or not the property owner was negligent.
If they find that there was negligence, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawyers and insurance company for the property owner will rarely do the right thing. Plus, they’re unlikely to give you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
But, when you have a lawyer fighting for your rights, they will realize that you’re serious. In many cases, they may make a settlement offer to the injured party before they go to trial. If this settlement offer is fair, then the injured party can accept it and start moving on with their life.