Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
No one expects to sustain a serious injury while performing routine tasks like buying groceries, walking through a parking lot, or climbing a set of stairs. But hazards that could cause an unsuspecting individual to slip and fall can exist anywhere. And depending on the circumstances of the accident, these hazards could lead to serious injuries.
In Nova Scotia, one of the leading causes of slip and fall accidents is inclement winter weather. Snow that’s been allowed to accumulate on sidewalks, in parking lots, and outside residences or commercial properties can present a major hazard for passersby, as can slick, unsalted patches of ice. Each year, thousands of Nova Scotians are injured in a weather-related accident. While most of these accidents may only result in bruising, many accidents caused by snow or ice cause injuries requiring hospitalization.
Slip and fall accidents are also troublingly common in workplaces across the province. In fact, slips and falls are among the most common workplace accidents. In 2019, slip and fall accidents in the workplace forced more than 1300 Nova Scotians to take time off work to recover from their injuries.
Besides inclement weather and workplace mishaps, common hazards that might lead to injury-causing slip and fall accidents commonly include:
- Spilled liquids
- Recently mopped floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Loose tiles or carpeting
- Cluttered walkways
- Poor lighting
- Broken or missing handrails
- Improperly maintained sidewalks
- And more
Although these accidents might occur as the result of any number of maintenance issues, overall, one of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is negligence. When a property owner, manager, or occupant fails to properly identify, remove, or adequately warn people about potential hazards on their property, their negligence could lead to serious injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an accident on another party’s property, a Nova Scotia slip and fall accident lawyer may be able to help you recover financial compensation.
Understanding the Severity of Slip and Fall Accidents
Although many slip and fall accidents may simply result in negligible physical injuries like bruising, depending on the circumstances of the accident, the ramifications can be severe. In some scenarios, slip and fall accidents can lead to permanent, debilitating injuries, and even fatalities.
Senior citizens are at the greatest risk of being severely injured in a slip and fall accident. Falls are far and away the leading cause of injury for seniors across the country. Owing to their advanced age and potential frailty, even accidents that might allow a younger person to walk away unharmed could seriously impact a senior’s quality of life. In Canada, 81% of seniors’ injuries requiring hospitalization were the result of a fall, and often have long-term or permanent repercussions.
Injuries that might be sustained in a slip and fall accident include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- And more
In addition to the physical trauma individuals can sustain in a slip and fall accident, if their injuries prevent them from performing the duties of their jobs, these accidents could have substantial financial repercussions. A recent survey of accidents in Nova Scotia recorded that, in a single year, $2.4 million dollars in benefits were paid to workers injured in slips and falls. In one year, these accidents accounted for more than 20,000 lost days of work.
How Negligence Can Be Determined
According to the province’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, Nova Scotia property owners must exercise a reasonable duty of care to those rightfully visiting their premises. It is incumbent on property owners to remove, repair, or adequately warn people about potential hazards on their premises. As such, a failure to identify and address possible slip and fall risks on their property could make them liable for accidents that occur as a result.
With the assistance of a premises liability lawyer, Nova Scotians injured in slip and fall accidents caused by a property owner’s negligence may be able to recover damages for costs they incurred as a result. To do so, a lawyer may be able to compile and present various forms of evidence to prove that negligence was the primary cause of their client’s injury-causing accident. This evidence might include:
- Video surveillance footage of the accident
- Photos of hazards at the accident site
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Police reports, or other incident reports
- And possibly more
By obtaining and presenting these types of evidence, a lawyer may be able to prove that their injured client had a legal right to be on the property; that a hazard existed on the property that its owner should have known about; that this hazard caused their client to slip and fall; and that their injuries were a direct result of that accident on the premises.
If a slip and fall accident lawyer is able to prove that a property owner’s negligence caused their client’s accident, they may be eligible to receive financial compensation.
Damages That Could Be Pursued for Injuries Sustained in Slip and Fall Accidents
The majority of insured property owners have policies covering third party liability, which may be able to cover the costs of damages incurred by an accident victim who sustained injuries as a result of the property owner’s negligence. A lawyer may be able to pursue damages through tort action. By pursuing legal action against the negligent parties, an injured victim may be able to recover the costs of damages they incurred, including:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing medical care/in-home care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Adjusted living expenses
- And possibly more
Additionally, if the slip and fall accident resulted in catastrophic injuries, rendering the victim unable to engage in the activities they enjoyed before their accident, a Nova Scotia lawyer may be able to help these injured individuals recover non-pecuniary damages, which may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And possibly more
Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers if You’ve Been Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation for damages you incurred. To discuss the circumstances of your slip and fall accident and learn if you’re eligible to pursue damages, contact us today.