Avoiding Lawsuits: Ways to Keep Your Property Safe from Slip-and-fall Accidents

 

prevent slip-and-fallWinter is right here. Unfortunately, during this season of joy, as the ice and snow begins to fall, the number of slip-and-fall accidents likewise soars.

Slip-and-fall accidents are among the leading causes of injury on both commercial and residential properties.  In fact, based on a statistic gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of nearly one million Americans who suffer from injuries resulting from slip-and-fall, about 17,000 of them die.

The changing weather does not change premises and businesses owners’ liability. Therefore, in an aim to help property owners and businesses as well, a slip-and-fall accident attorney, serving greater Los Angeles, reminded that great housekeeping and proper maintenance during this time is very important to prevent big losses as a result of slip-and-fall claims.

In addition, he also shared some tips below on how property owners and businesses could prepare for the winter season to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

Start Outdoors

Although the weather can impact both outdoors and indoors, obviously, outdoors are the most affected of the. Also, most slip-and-fall accidents commonly occur outdoors. Therefore, start by clearing out hazards outside of your home or your business establishment. It pays to be prepared in advance. Be sure that you are well prepared to conduct a snow removal ahead of time so that the task can be done quickly as possible. Surfaces like outdoor steps, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots should always be free from ice and snow.

Moreover, several outdoor spots like the driveways and parking areas have a blacktop, wherein chances of slip-and-fall accidents are at a higher risk since the ice tends to blend with the surface’s dark color. Thus, it is always advisable to have a bag of sand to take care of the ice immediately while performing maintenance.

During extreme weathers, since it is more difficult for people to walk on blacktops, safety cones and signs must be provided.

Also, since handrails help people to balance when entering or leaving a premise, it is important to give them a good repair all year round.

During the humid season, lighting is likewise important to brighten up the outdoor areas to make it easier for people to see potential hazards. Therefore, it is best to build a proper lighting with a strong structure particularly in icy areas outdoors.

Indoor maintenance

Regardless of how clean and organized your outdoor area is, ice and snow will still be traced into the entrance ways or door ways of your property or business establishment. When the ice or snow melts, it will then create  water hazard. Clean the water in such areas as soon as possible since it is the part of the indoor wherein there is heavy foot traffic.

Place extra floor mats near entrance or door ways to encourage visitors to wipe their feet. Aside from preventing slip-and-fall accidents, the good thing about placing door mats is that it can also prevent water from getting in between the cracks of the floor which can eventually lead to damage.

In business establishments, it is always important to put up safety cones to mark possible hazards within the premises.

After-snow preventive measure

Even if you have prepared for the winter season ahead of time, you are likely to encounter new possible hazards as problems start to develop in some areas after the first snow. Make it a habit to check on the premises’ walking surfaces to identify new threats and areas that need to be repaired or salted more often.

Inspect surfaces by shuffling around rather than walking, point your feet out and take very slow little steps to carefully check for black ice, uneven surfaces and unsalted areas. Ice can often hide under the snow so you have to locate those risky areas, remember to mark those spots first before fixing it.

Wear your protective gear

Prevention is always better than cure. If you are a business owner, advise your employees to wear shoes that provide traction like slip resistant shoes or boots. Furthermore, it would also help if you would post information about the proper way to fall around your premise. As much as possible, avoid falling on your knees or wrists. Also, if you could try hard to fall on your side, do it to protect the limb.

Remember, a bit of preventive efforts can help reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents on your property. Being well prepared ahead of time really pays a lot. Have a safe winter season.

 

Louisiana Airport Sued for Slip-and-fall Accident

One of the busiest premises in Louisiana, United States is now in hot water after a woman filed a slip-and-fall lawsuit against it, according to reports.

Lola Esther Scudiero reportedly filed the lawsuit against the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport after she allegedly slipped and fell in its premises.

Scudiero claimed in her lawsuit, which was filed before the 19th Judicial Court last November  28, that as she and her husband and daughter were about to return home after visiting their family in Natchez, Mississippi, she fell face down onto the airport’s floor.

She blamed the airport’s raised portion of the black rubber divider which was located between the carpeted area and the marble floor of the premise’s terminal counter area. Scudiero affirmed that the black rubber divider was not immediately visible to the naked eye and was a hidden danger due to its location and color.

As a result of the incident, Scudiero sustained injuries to her face, teeth, arm, hand, leg and back. Therefore, she is now seeking for unspecified damages for mental and physical pain and sufferings, wage losses, and loss of enjoyment of life.

In her lawsuit, Scudiero further claimed that the airport failed to maintain danger-free premises, to inspect the terminal area to at least have knowledge about its dangerous conditions, and to provide the public with a reasonably safe transition from the carpeted floor to the marble floor.

So far, the case is pending before the Division E Judge, William A. Morvant.

Incidentally, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one million Americans suffer from a slip-and-fall injury and 17,000 of which die from injuries related to the said accidents. Apparently, the chances of anyone getting involved in such incidents are high. Therefore, a Los Angeles slip-and-fall lawyer reminded that it is important that a person must take all the necessary precautions to ensure his or her own safety even when just walking.

Disneyland’s Slip-and-fall Claim and other Personal Injury Claims Hit 140 Cases

In a paper review, it was found out that Disneyland’s theme park in Anaheim, California had been slapped with approximately 140 lawsuits alleging slip-and-fall accidents and other personal injuries over the past five years.

Additionally, while Disneyland had accumulated some 140 cases to date, Knott’s Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park had been found out to have 50 personal injury lawsuits against it since 2007, according to a report from The Orange County Register.

The said newspaper’s analysis of lawsuits likewise showed several major causes of visitor injuries at both Disney’s California Adventure and Knott’s Berry Farm. The review also revealed that most cases reached out-of-court settlements while others were simply dismissed.

At present, slip-and-fall accidents are the most common cause of personal injuries at Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland, concluded by the OC. In fact, nearly a third of all lawsuits against the said theme parks were filed under the category of slip-and-fall, which includes tripping and falling or slipping on the ground, sidewalk or floor.

The OC noted in their report a case of a woman who slipped on broken eggs that were left undone on the floor of Goofy’s Kitchen in a Disneyland hotel. The case reached an out-of-court settlement.

Some of the remarkable cases settled by the said theme parks include the following:

•    A man who filed a lawsuit against Disney when one of its workers accidentally poured hot coffee on his arm
•    A man who charged Knott’s when a wagon-wheel bench rolled over when he sat on it causing him to stumble onto the ground on his back
•    A man who sued Disney after he was hit by a metal sheet that exploded off a snack stand near him

The personal injury lawsuits over the past five years against Disney and Knott’s revealed by the said review rarely reached the court. Meanwhile, the theme parks are said to have a public-relations scheme to immediately and discreetly settle cases, a law professor revealed to OC.

In fact, since 2007, both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm lost just a single lawsuit each. Disneyland was said to have paid a woman with more than $500,000 after a food court umbrella blew over and hit her head, which led her to suffer from seizures. Knott’s, on the other hand, was revealed to have paid a woman $71,000 after she tripped on a curb and fractured her ankle.

Nevertheless, if compared to the combined number of visitors of both theme parks which totals to 25 million a year, the number of their slip-and-fall cases and other personal injury claims is actually small.

Due to the enormous land area that both theme parks occupy, it is pretty impossible for their maintenance department to keep the theme park premises totally safe and a hundred percent free from all hazards that may cause personal injuries, such as slip-and-fall accidents and tripping. Therefore, a Los Angeles slip-and-fall lawyer suggests that when you plan to go to theme parks, you should be very careful and attentive, and if any incident of personal injury occurs, immediately call for authorities to investigate your case and to make sure that you won’t be taken for a ride.

Covina Woman Passes through a Panel of Jury over a Slip and Fall Claim

A Covina woman was awarded with $415,000 by a jury for her slip-and-fall claim that she filed against one of the largest retailing stores in the United States.

After the jury has ruled 12-0 in her favor, Monika Leiterman, 58, was awarded with the amount of $89,868.28 for her medical expenses and $325,000 for her sustained pain and sufferings, totaling to $414,868.28 in economic compensations.

Leiterman has said that before she reached the generous ruling, she had a hard time gathering evidences to present in court. In her lawsuit, Leiterman has claimed that the Industry Costco Store’s employees failed to clean up a spill on its office which resulted in the accident.

As a result of the slip-and-fall accident, Leiterman underwent a medical operation that required her kneecaps to be wired together. According to her slip-and-fall lawyer, Leiterman still needs to undergo two more medical procedures to fully recover from her injuries, Her lawyer further stated that Leiterman, as expected, will suffer from partial immobility and body pains for her entire life.

Costco has never admitted the allegations nor offered any settlement.

Leiterman is still lucky enough to win on her slip-and-fall accident claim. This is because she has a very good slip-and-fall lawyer. Nowadays, slip-and-fall claims are so hard to prove since a lot of scam artists are also making such claims to. Therefore, filing for accident claim is like passing through a needle hole. A victim should have a lawyer that is capable enough with dealing with all the necessary actions in pursuing the case.

Fake Slip–and–Fall Accident Becoming a Big Business

slip and fall accidentInsurance frauds involving fake slip–and–fall accident claim has become a big business costing American consumers roughly $30 billion a year. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing frauds nowadays.

It is a cost doing great business. If a customer falls, business owners automatically have to pay.

Such fraudulent act is a quick source of income since slip–and–fall accident compensation can sum up to more than $300,000. Business owners often prefer to try to pay the victim with the amount of $500 and even $1000 once a slip–and–fall accident occur even without checking the incident at their security cameras just to make the complainants disappear and avoid further hassles rather than paying the entire $300,000.

A special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau investigator, Mark Sakalares said that some slip–and–fall accidents seem to be no longer legitimate accidents since some of them turned out to be staged.

He further said that fraud-hungry people smash into some of the small grocery stores trying to get a quick settlement through fake slip–and–fall accident.

In a surveillance video, several cases of fake slip–and–fall accidents were seen telling the real score. A video footage shows a woman pouring cider and puts a piece of fruit on the floor before enacting a fall. In another video, a woman made not only one but two falls after
pouring olive oil on the floor.

Usually, frauds work as a group. In some cases, there is at least one who will serve as a look out while the other one was busy pouring something which would cause a slip on the floor. Some frauds succeed while some were prosecuted. But still, it accounts for 5% of the fraud cases in several states like in North Dakota.

The increasing number of slip–and–fall frauds can be linked to the economic recession way back in 2008. The number of suspicious slip–and–fall accidents reported to the National Crime Insurance Bureau (NCBI) hit as high as 57% nationwide.

Between increased prices at the market and increased insurance premiums, estimate reveals fake slip-and-falls and other insurance fraud cost families about $950 a year.

Due to the sloping down economy, people see a great opportunity to make money even out of a fake slip-and-fall accident.

Statistics from the Centers for Control and Prevention said that over one million Americans suffer from personal injury resulting from a slip-and-fall accident. Apparently, out of this million count slip-and-fall accidents which were proven to be fraudulent. Thus, business owners should take note of this, since slip-and-fall claim is a factor for a business’ resource drain.

The Major Impacts of a Slip and Fall Accident in a Business

Slip and fall maybe a funny scene at a comedy show or a movie. However, in real life it is not as ridiculous that people could laugh about. It is a serious accident that may lead to all sorts of injuries.

In the US, slip and fall is one of the leading causes of injury to customers and employees every year. Each year, the workers compensation and medical expenses associated with slip and fall accidents in American businesses costs approximately $70 billion, based from the National Safety Council.

Wet or greasy floors, messy environment to uneven surfaces, poor cleaning and lack of hazard identification are some of the causes of slip and fall accidents in business establishments. However, these could be avoided with proper cleaning and maintenance of the workplace.

Here are the three major effects of a slip and fall injury to businesses:

A slip and fall injury can drain your business resources – when a customer or an employee experiences slip and fall injuries within the business premises, the employer or the business itself is held liable in terms of financial obligations. Injuries that may be sustained from a slip and fall accidents vary. Therefore, its medical expenses also differ. There is a huge possibility of business financial bankruptcy once a slip and fall victim sustained serious injuries.

A slip and fall injury can damage your company’s reputation – in some cases of slip and fall accidents, a victim and business owner or the employer don’t always end up on a great deal or bargain. There are some instances when a slip and fall accident should really undergo a lawsuit or litigation. Whether the business is at fault or not, lawsuits and even just complaints that may arise could damage its reputation.

Employers may also suffer from loss of productivity – once an employee-sustained injuries, employer’s cannot force or allow the employee to get back on his work. Absence of an employee may result in the loss of productivity for a business.

Business owners should not only focus on the sales and productivity of a business. They should also take some time to realize if their premises should be safe not only for their workers but as well as for the customers to avoid these aforementioned major impacts of slip and fall injury.