A slip or fall can happen anywhere. When an individual is injured in a slip or fall on private property, the property’s owner is liable for the victim’s damages. This concept is known as premises liability. Premises liability covers all injuries caused by hazards the property owner knew about or should have known about. Failing to clean up a spill or take a similar action to mitigate a slip and fall hazard is an act of negligence on a property owner’s part. Below are a few common causes of slips and falls in public places.
A spill or puddle on a floor can be a dangerous slip and fall hazard, especially if the floor material beneath is slick tile. In certain retail settings, detergents and other liquid soaps can spill and cause an especially dangerous slip and fall hazard. A few public settings where wet floors can be prevalent are:
- Grocery stores; and
- Any public bathroom.
Obstacles Obscured by Poor Lighting
Private property owners have the duty to keep their properties well-lit to prevent injuries. In a public place, poor lighting can obscure debris on the floor, a step up or down into another room or area of the building, an unsecured carpet or wire, or a piece of furniture.
In many buildings, specific rooms or areas within rooms have floors that are slightly higher or lower than other areas of the building. Entering or exiting one of these areas can be hazardous if the change in elevation is not clearly marked.
Worn and Damaged Flooring
In high-traffic areas, the floor can become worn down over time. When this happens, holes can appear in the flooring. With certain types of floor, such as laminates, individual strips of flooring can become unsecured and pose tripping hazards. With hardwood floors, boards can become loose and strain under users’ feet, potentially causing them to lose their balance and trip. Similarly, tiles can crack and pose tripping hazards. Sometimes, years of foot traffic coupled with the building settling can cause floors to sag and become sloped, another injury hazard.
Outdoor Slip and Fall Hazards
Property owners and managers are also responsible for maintaining safe premises outside. Accumulated leaves in the autumn, snow and ice accumulation in the winter, and puddles after rainfalls can all pose falling hazards to guests. Additionally, broken staircases, walkways, and handrails can create injury hazards.
Work with an Experienced Arlington Heights Slip and Fall Attorney
If you were injured in a slip or fall in a public place, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your related damages through a personal injury claim. After you have received appropriate medical care for your injury, contact our team of slip and fall lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP to set up your legal consultation with us. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Clark Young)