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Slip-and-fall accidents happen due to hazardous walking surfaces

When there is no traction between an individual's foot and a walking surface, a slip-and-fall accident can easily take place. Unfortunately, when slip-and-fall accidents occur in West Virginia, the injured parties may suffer serious injuries requiring costly medical care. They may also have to miss work, which can add salt to the wound from a financial perspective.

Research shows that over half of the slips and falls that take place in the United States are caused by problems with walking surfaces. A large number of injuries caused by slip-and-fall accidents are the result of floors that are wet or floors that have dry contaminants, such as dirt, sand or other types of granular material. Incidents that involve dry or wet floor contaminants often take place in production areas or entrances. If a business's maintenance staff fails to clean the facility's floors properly, this can also be problematic by causing the floors to lose their slip-resistant properties, resulting in a slippery buildup on the floor or leading to premature wear.

Issues such as bucked or frayed carpets as well as loose floorboards and missing floor tiles may also be dangerous. The area outside of a building can easily pose a slip-and-fall hazard as well. For instance, ice, rain and snow can make sidewalks very slippery, and uneven or chipped concrete might cause a person to lose his or her footing and fall. Many of these issues are easy for businesses to overlook since they have either existed for a while or have developed gradually, with people simply learning how to steer clear of them.

When people have suffered injuries in slip-and-fall accidents, it is within their rights to file premises liability lawsuits against the allegedly at-fault businesses. Liability has to be established to the court's satisfaction before a judge will adjudicate claims for monetary damages. A financial award may help the injured parties pay for their medical bills and cover other accident-related losses in West Virginia.

Source: ohsoline.com, "Review Floor Maintenance Procedures to Reduce Slip and Fall Incidents -- Occupational Health & Safety", Karen D. Hamel, Dec. 1, 2015

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