Wet and slippery floors pose a threat to the safety of anyone in the area, whether it is a customer in a grocery store, an employee in a warehouse, or a cleaning professional working in an office or a home. A spilled liquid on a floor can cause an individual to lose his or her balance with just one step and can lead to a slip, stumble, or a fall to the ground.
Wet floors can happen in an instant and can often go unnoticed or ignored for some time before anyone attends to the hazard. This ability for the condition to quickly develop yet linger for hours or longer increases the odds that an innocent pedestrian in the area will come upon the spill, leading to the potential for an injury.
It is the duty of every property owner in Arizona to maintain his or her land, including the buildings thereon, in a safe and reasonable condition. These requirements can apply to the owners of commercial properties that are open to the public, like restaurants and clothing stores, but they also apply to areas with a more restricted group of patrons, like an apartment complex. Failing to maintain property and allowing a slippery condition to occur can lead to a premises liability accident and can result in the property's owner being held legally liable for the damages that result.
Common Causes of Wet and Slippery Floors
Flooring conditions can be subjected to various human and environmental factors that can lead to a slippery or wet situation. Those most likely to occur will vary based on the type of establishment at issue.
Grocery stores and supermarkets commonly have spills on floors that can be dangerous to shoppers and employees alike. Grocery stores experience high traffic which leads to the need to regularly clean the floors. A recently cleaned floor may still be wet or may have a light residue from cleaning fluid remaining, leading to a dangerous situation for those in the area. When employees tend to and clean floors, the areas affected should be clearly marked to warn walkers of a wet condition but unfortunately, the signage that may be used may not be enough or may be lacking entirely. This applies similarly to all establishments that clean hard floors while the building is open including hotels, building lobbies, and industrial factories.
High traffic establishments must also contend with elements from nature being brought indoors. During monsoon season and the occasional rainstorm during the rest of the year, shoppers may have to walk through a wet parking lot before entering a store, coating their shoes in water and then tracking that water indoors. When dozens of shoppers do this same thing over a short time, the water can accumulate and lead to a dangerous area near the entrance doors which often must be used for ingress and egress. If shopping in the mountains in northern Arizona, snow might become tracked indoors where it can melt and threaten safety.
Industrial settings, especially those that handle food and food products, are prime areas for slippery floors. Compliance with federal and state guidelines requires aggressive sanitation methods that can lead to damp, wet, and slippery floors. Employees working in these areas may be required to wear non-slip footwear but even the best shoes cannot prevent all slipping. Additionally, areas that produce or handle liquids and gels, like beverage bottling facilities, can be prone to spills and overflows that lead to product gathering on the floor, creating an additional hazard.
On average, restaurants serve a large volume of customers and deal with a large quantity of food daily. Spills of these products are common and may occur in dining rooms where patrons are enjoying their meals. Failing to address a wet floor in an area where people are sitting and eating may lead to liability on the part of the restaurant involved.
Legal Options for Wet Floor Injuries in Phoenix
The responsibility to ensure that a building is in a safe condition for those intending to use the facilities rests with the owner and the managers of the structure. Failing to address a wet or slippery floor once one occurs can lead to legal liability on the part of the owners for any and all injuries that result to those harmed by the flooring, whether those injuries are broken and fractured bones, head and neck injuries, or even death.
A claim for injuries can enable a victim to recover for the financial damages enacted by a slipping incident including all medical bills that have been incurred and that are likely to be incurred in the future. Further damages, like lost wages and pain and suffering, can be recovered as well if a wet floor was a negligent condition that leads to legal liability.
The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. believe that all injury victims deserve to have legal representation on their side, fighting for their rights. We have a licensed attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call and provide you with a free case consultation toll free at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential.
If you have been injured after falling on a wet or slippery floor, call us toll free at (855) 749-5299 or Contact Us online for a free consultation.