Slipping, tripping and falling to the floor can cause serious injuries like fractured bones, strains and sprains, and other injuries requiring medical treatment and rehabilitation. In some cases, uneven flooring is the culprit that causes individuals to trip and fall to the ground. Uneven flooring may be a result of the property owner’s actions or negligence, and presents a dangerous obstacle that can result in painful injuries.
How does uneven flooring cause fall injuries?
Each individual understands that he or she must pay attention to surroundings when walking in order to stay safe and avoid slipping, tripping and falling. If obstacles stand in the way, these may provide a hazard that can cause trip and fall accidents.
One such obstacle is uneven flooring separated by changes in elevation, such as a hole in the ground or a broken stair. Uneven flooring might cause one to step onto a lower elevation than expected. Or it might cause one to step directly onto the uneven divide, where part of the person’s foot is on the higher surface and the other part on the lower surface. Any of these types of accidents can lead to serious injuries if the person falls.
Injuries Caused by Tripping from Uneven Flooring
A trip and fall accident is not guaranteed to lead to serious injuries. That said, a fall can cause serious injuries, depending on the age and physical condition of the individual, as well as a variety of other factors.
Falls may result in a:
- fractured hip;
- fractured vertebra;
- fractured pelvis or other bones; and
- traumatic brain injury (TBI) if the individual falls on his or her head.
Furthermore, older adults are at a much higher risk of sustaining injuries during a fall, and a World Health Organization fact sheet on falling claims that 20-30% of older adults in the United States “who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas.”
Who is at fault in a trip and fall accident?
One of the most important things to specify after a fall accident that led to injuries is who was at fault. Of course, the individual who tripped and fell may have been responsible for the placement of his or her foot, but the owner of the property may have been negligent in maintaining an adequate level of safety on the property. The property owner may have also failed to notify visitors of an obstacle.
In general, the property owners may be at fault if they:
- caused or created the obstacle (in this case, uneven flooring) to occur;
- knew about the obstacle, and yet did nothing about it; or
- should have known about the obstacle, because a reasonable individual would have known about it and done fixed it.
At least one of these three factors must be in place in order to hold a property owner liable. Trip and fall victims must also establish that their injuries are the result of the fall. They must also establish that they suffered damages like medical bills or lost wages because of the accident.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney
Property owners have a duty to keep their grounds safe for visitors. When they don’t, trip and fall accidents can occur. If you have been injured in a fall accident from uneven flooring, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. for help filing a claim to recover compensation. Call us today at 800-550-0000.