The age-old adage says, “accidents happen.” Yes, they do. However, avoidable accidents often have an underlying layer of liability. If we trip and fall over our kids’ toys in our own home, we have no one to hold liable. On the contrary, liability, and compensation become a factor if we slip and fall in a place of business, on the job, government property or public transportation. Since the best medicine is prevention, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall cases in New Mexico.
Many accidents involving falls are caused by disrepair or hazardous conditions. These trip hazards can range from broken stairs, missing handrails, ripped carpets, poorly lit areas, cracked sidewalks, and loose tiles or floorboards. These are all possible signs of negligence due to a lack of proper and timely maintenance.
Sometimes slip-and-falls can take place because of a lack of maintenance, but conversely, some happen because of the actual maintenance itself. Many trip hazards present themselves during repairs, remodeling and construction.
These causes could range from:
- Extension cords across traffic areas
- Tools or construction-related items obstructing walkways
- Dust, water or debris causing slippery surfaces
Finally, mother nature herself can cause potentially dangerous walking conditions. Even insurance actuaries take into account freak “acts of God.” However, businesses are liable when they don’t respond to unsafe conditions promptly. Standing water, ice-covered sidewalks and steps present hazards to customers and employees alike if not dealt with properly.
Being vigilant and aware is the responsibility of us all. However, companies have a responsibility to the public to maintain safe and secure conditions for walking. According to the National Floor Safety Institute [NFSI], falls account for over 8 million emergency room patients per year. If you are considering bringing your claim to court, it is highly recommended to seek legal counsel who is experienced with slip-and-fall cases in New Mexico.