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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!   

 

Trips, 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.  

Also, 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.
  • Falls are the primary cause of lost time at work.
  • 22 percent of falls result in more than 31 days of missed work. 
  • Being 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.