Slips and Falls
Of the more than 100 million-plus lawsuits filed each year in U.S. and state courts,
more than 20 % are related to Slips, Trips, and Falls. Conversely, less than 5% of all Slips, Trips, and Falls cases ever make it to trial. This is generally true because small business owners realize
that the court cases cost them thousands, and even if they win, they lose! That is precisely how our firm was born. Our founder
was involved in an auto accident. Although he was not a fault, the other party sued him. He won the case but was still out
over $40,000 in attorney fees. A few years later, his concept of Equal Justice for All was born!
Slips, and Falls are, without a doubt, one of your worse enemies as a business owner. There are thousands and thousands of
law firms throughout North America who specialize in Trips, Slips, and falls. These lawyers spend enormous amounts of money,
teaching people about how they can help them receive compensation for Trip, Slip, and Fall accidents.
The trip, Slip, and Fall accidents
are a lucrative area for lawyers because they are hard to disapprove, and on average, they take about 23 months to make it
through the court system, and most business owners will settle out of court. AND that is one of the main reasons why there
are so many bogus Slips, Trips & Fall lawsuits!
And the worst
part of this: Once you settle and the plaintiff receives a cash payment from your insurance company, you can probably expect
your insurance rates to go up, or they may drop your policy altogether! O.H., you did not know that your business insurance
company, much like your auto insurance company ... they may even be the same. Well, Now You Know!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PREVENT SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS IN YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS
THE ABSOLUTE FIRST THING YOU MUST DO
You must become
vigilant. You must become pro-active. You
must do everything you can to reduce the possibility of slips, trips and falls occurring in your place of business. Let
me cite one case that I am painfully familiarly with: I was a young
correctional officer working in a military correctional facility in Fort Hood Texas, (many years ago). I
was the assistant chief of supervision branch. One afternoon I return
from a downtown trip and was informed that one of my case members had committed suicide. You
can imagine what followed. The command began looking for someones head. Mine was closes to the case and shit rolls down hill. My
boss was supported because he knew me and how I worked BUT this was about three or four levels above his pay grade. After
being interviewed by the hospital commander and then the deputy post commander and his staff. The
hospital commander was forced to retire and I was given high grades for my professional and tireless to ward of this tragedy. Trust me, I understand, vigilance, I understand being pro-active, I understand
what it means to do all that you can do to prevent unsafe acts. So,
with that having been said, following are just some of the things you need to be vigilant about doing:
* Clean up spills immediately. If a spill can’t be cleaned up immediately, place “wet floor” warning
signs for workers and visitors to clearly see.
* Keep walkways and hallways free of debris, clutter and obstacles.
* Keep filing cabinets and dest drawers shut when not in use.
* Cover cables or cords in walk areas. Consider
installing abrasive floor mats or replacing worn floors.
* Encourage employees to wear comfortable and properly fitting shoes.
and very important, post safety rules and be specific …
* Post safety inspection card and inspect the area at least weekly,
assign duties to employees as well. And finally, I take
pictures of the area as well.
But there is so much more you should also be doing, for example: I
walk the grounds of my local area rental properties almost weekly and never less than monthly and have my property manager
do the same for any of my out of area properties.
Remember, in most cases the burden of proof Slips, Trips & Falls is largely
on you! I also take pictures of the outside areas as well.
Falls at Work ...
- In 2016 there were 229,240 nonfatal cases involving falls, slips,
trips; the lowest since 2014.
- In 2016 there were 849 fatal
work-related falls, slips, and trips (in all sectors), with an increase every year since 2011 with 681.
- Services, wholesale, and retail trade industries account for 60 percent of slip
and fall accidents.
- At 25 percent, slip and fall injuries
are the most frequently reported work accidents.
are the primary cause of lost time at work.
- 22 percent
of falls result in more than 31 days of missed work.
pro-active is critical and I think you should be come more and more pro-active
about protecting yourself, your family and your business. I will keep
dripping on you and don’t worry, I am happy to do this. Being
semi-retired as I am I can either do things to help others or spend most of my time drinking beer … Yep! Still
love beer but when it starts to run out of your ears … it’s time to do things differently.