Slip and fall injuries: Protect yourself and others

Slipping and falling is the No. 1 cause of accidents in homes, hotels, restaurants, and public buildings. Slip and fall accidents also are the second-leading cause of injuries in the United States (auto accidents rank first). Icy sidewalks, uneven pavement, a spill on the floor, or even a kink in the carpet can all cause serious injury.

Both you, as a property owner, and as an injured person, can be held to varying degrees of responsibility for an injury.

As business or home owners, we all have a responsibility to reasonably keep property safe. That includes clearing ice from sidewalks or posting signs if we've just mopped the floor. Visitors are responsible for taking care to watch where they are going, as well as realize that things can fall or spill onto walking surfaces.

In order to be compensated for an injury in a lawsuit, an injured person must prove two things

• The owner or manager of the property was responsible for an unsafe condition which caused the fall.

• The owner or manager knew of the situation and failed to warn of or correct it.

Here are some interesting facts about slip-and-fall accidents in the United States:

• 25,000 slip-and-fall injuries require hospital care every day.

• There are more than 9 million slip-and-fall accidents reported every year.

• Most slip-and-fall accidents that happen in the home occur in the bathroom.

• Slip-and-fall accidents account for two-thirds of all accidents among adults over 65, according to an AARP report.