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Trip and Fall Hazards

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What Are Trip and Fall Cases?

Trip and fall cases are personal injury cases in which a person suffers injury after tripping on an object and then falling to the floor. These types of injuries are often related to premises liability claims, such as when a person trips and falls in a retail store or other similar business location. These cases are sometimes called slip, trip, and fall cases, or sometimes slip and fall cases. However slip and fall cases often indicate specific cases where the person slipped on a wet or slippery floor surface. They are often all lumped together in the same categories though.

Trip and fall cases can lead to serious injuries, including:

  • Back, neck, or head trauma injuries
  • Hip injuries or tailbone
  • Arm or wrist injuries (for instance, if the person tried to break their fall)
  • Knee or other leg injuries
  • Various strains, muscle tears, sprains, cuts, and other injuries

What Are Some Common Trip and Fall Hazards?

Trip and fall scenarios are often caused by very specific hazards. These can include:

  • Items left on the floor for too long (such as boxes, clothes, debris, produce items, etc.)
  • Loose planks, nails or stairs
  • Tools left laying around
  • Structures with pieces jutting out at the bottom
  • Extension cords, power cables, and other cords that are strewn along the floor
  • Improper installation of carpeting (for instance, where a corner or edge is sticking up
  • Skateboards or other items with wheels left laying around

Thus, trip and fall hazards can include any number of different items. The dangers of injury increase in situations where there is dim lighting, low visibility, or where the person’s view is obstructed.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Trip and Fall Claim?

Trip and fall claims are often based on negligence theories of law. In order to be held liable under negligence laws, the person being sued must have owed a duty of care to the victim. For instance, shopkeepers and retail store owners owe customers and other patrons a duty of care with regards to keeping store floors clean and free from trip hazards. This is limited to a "reasonable" amount of safety in relation to that type of store or business.

In some cases, private property owners and home owners owe a duty of care to visitors on their premises. Again, this is limited to a reasonable amount of care and inspection that the property owner must exercise in keeping the grounds safe. Liability for injuries therefore often depends on the type of premises involved, as well as state laws.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Trip and Fall Claims?

A trip and fall claim can sometimes involve serious injury. These can lead to monetary damages awards to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need help filing a lawsuit for a trip and fall incident. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice to guide you during the process. Also, your lawyer can be available to represent you if you need to attend court meetings, hearings, or other similar proceedings.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-04-2015 11:28 AM PDT

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