Most Missouri residents do not think twice about making a trip to the store or browsing a sale at the local shopping mall. However, when that quick trip turns into an unexpected slip-and-fall accident, who is to blame? While these incidents can be rare and are often difficult to pinpoint, some provide a clear path to the culprit: an icy sidewalk, hidden steps and cluttered aisles are only a few of the causes of these potentially dangerous accidents.
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur in unexpected places, as seen in an incident highlighted by the Springfield News-Leader last July. Springfield, Missouri is home to many colorful murals that splay across storm drains, but one tourist received more than an artistic experience when he slipped and fell on one of the murals on Boonville Avenue. As a result, the city paid a $200,000 settlement to the man, who suffered a knee injury after his fall. A Springfield spokesperson had admitted to the News-Leader that the particular mural had evaded the standard maintenance schedule that regulated the resealing of all mural locations.
The National Floor Safety Institute shares a few facts on slip-and-falls, stating that such falls are the leading cause of hospital visits — with 1 million visits that amount to 21 percent of all falls. They also account for the most lost days from work (which, on average, last 31 days) and are the leading cause of brain and spinal cord injuries. Although people aged 65 and older are the most vulnerable to these accidents, 85 percent of worker’s compensation claims are a result of employees falling on slippery floors. They may never be entirely preventable, but the NFSI adds that over $13 billion a year goes toward slip-and-fall accidents, identifying this type of accident as a serious and costly one.