Old wooden staircaseTo the uninitiated, a slip or trip and fall may seem like an act of simple buffoonery committed exclusively by the habitually oafish or especially oblivious.  However, the very reason why slips, trips, and falls are compensable is because they are not something most people expect to happen—it usually requires some outstanding circumstance to cause a normally sure-footed human being to lose their balance and sustain an injury thereby.  When a person files a claim against some other party for a slip/trip and fall injury, it is because the party at fault neglected to remove the hazard that occasioned it.

You cannot, of course, haul someone into court every time you trip over your own feet.  Proprietors of public areas have rights, too.  However, you do have the right to request help when your injury was a senseless one that could have been prevented by a moderate level of attentiveness on their part.  For those who would rather sidestep fall injuries altogether, they most often take form in the following places:

 1. At Work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23% of slip, trip, and fall accidents occur in a familiar place outside the home.  Often, this means that the injuries are sustained in a work environment.  Correspondingly, falls are the second leading cause of work-related injury.  While serious fall injuries are largely dominated by construction, this danger exists on some level for a all occupations from food service to accounting.  Slip, trip, and fall hazards can be anywhere.  One cannot assume that their occupation is free of risk.

 2. On Ladders

Approximately 700 people die every year from elevated falls, many of which occur when the person is using a ladder.  Both portable and fixed ladders come with their own set of risks—portable ladders may fall; and fixed ladders may be fallen from.  What’s more, either type of ladder may collapse beneath its human burden.  Adherence to the manufacturer’s directions concerning the use of each specific ladder are the best way to prevent these types of fall injuries.

 3. Climbing Stairs

While stairs are not typically regarded as a hazard, they are a rather age-specific risk (particularly to the very young or elderly).  Approximately 30-35% of people aged 65 and older suffer a fall each year; 23% of these happen inside the home.  When the areas around stairwells are dark or cluttered, they pose a risk to all ages; accordingly, stairways should be well-lit and kept clear of any object, large or small, that invites tripping.

 4. Falls on the Same Level 

Over 60 percent of elevated falls are from less than 10 feet.  That is, most people who suffer fall injuries don’t have to do more than walk in order to get hurt in the midst of slip, trip, and fall hazards.  Same-level slips and falls don’t sound particularly frightening, yet same-level falls cause injury in seniors 30% of the time.  Failure to remove same-level fall hazards can lead to serious problems.  Spills, ice, and other hazards to same-level falls should not be taken lightly.

In the nastiest falls, injuries can be debilitating.  The victims may grapple with reduced quality of life and earning capacity as a result.  In the event that the injury took place in a public area or another place where the owner is responsible for the safety of visitors, it may be possible to seek further help, even when your insurance company tells you you’re getting the best deal possible.  Slip, trip, and fall attorneys Christensen & Hymas have an illustrious history of helping injury victims in the Salt Lake City area when others have turned their backs.  If you feel that every door is closed to you, in spite of your diligent efforts and the soundness of your case, you don’t need to give up:  call  Christensen & Hymas at (801) 506-0800 for a free consultation, or request their free booklet, 7 Biggest Mistakes that can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case at 1-800-LAW-BOOK or UtahAccidentBooks.com.

Image courtesy of Matt Seppings