Our firm has represented many people who unfortunately suffered serious, devastating and life altering injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, fractured hips, shoulders, arms and legs as a result of a simple “slip, trip or fall” on a mat and runner. In only a few seconds that it takes to fall and be injured your entire life suddenly changes. Will you be able to work? Will you be able to care for yourself and your family? What medical treatment do you need? Who will pay for that treatment? What will the long term effects of the injury be? Will you make a complete recovery?
So if someone is injured as a result of a trip, slip or fall on a mat and runner after first seeking medical treatment you need to immediately contact an experienced attorney to protect your rights to obtain compensation for your injury.
As mats and runners are transitory and can easily be moved or be rearranged it is important to try and get pictures and measurements as soon as possible after your accident.
Since so many premises, both residential and commercial, have videos it is very important to act quickly and obtain the videos before they are overwritten or erased. We have successfully obtained videos in many such cases that showed how the mat or runner was defective, either because it was torn or worn, or it was not lying flat, or two (2) mats that overlapped, or that there was a space that was slippery before or after the mat, all of which created a tripping hazard.
Although properly maintained and used floor mats and runners do improve safety, improperly used or poorly maintained mats are often hazardous and can cause tripe, slips and falls.
Floor mats and runners are widely used in residential and commercial premises to improve pedestrian safety in places where water or other contaminants may cause a floor to become dangerously slippery. They both remove moisture and other slippery substances from the bottom of your footwear, control moisture from spreading into the building interior, and most importantly provide a slip resistant surface in areas.
Although mats and runners are effective in improving the safety of premises they can be dangerous when not used properly. Mats and runners may become wrinkled or improperly place which can cause a slip, trip or fall.
Mats and runners are a flat piece of material used as a temporary floor covering. A runner is just a floor mat that is longer than it is wide.
Aged, worn, and improperly placed mats all have the opportunity to present tripping hazards. Any mat that does not lie flat against the floor without curls, ridges, or puckering has the potential to cause a trip incident. Lightweight mats in particular are susceptible to being torn by handling or excessive wear. Mats that are rolled for storage frequently become misshapen and fail to remain flat while in use.
If possible mats should be recessed into the floor to prevent a tripping hazard. Mats should have wide, beveled edges, and should be a color that contrasts against the flooring on which it is used so that it is easily visible.
If not enough mats are used and they fail to remove tracked in water, then they are not effective in preventing slippery conditions in the area. Also mats and runners can become saturated with water and they become a slipping hazard.
There are many standards and various Codes that apply to the use of mats and runners in retail and commercial premises, especially in inclement weather with rain or snow. All buildings must have a safe means of what lawyers call ingress and egress, or, walking into or out of a building.
Although many people may traverse or walk across a mat or runner and not suffer a slip, trip or fall and some people may actually slip, trip or fall and not suffer any injury other than to their dignity the unfortunate fact is that if enough people do slip, trip or fall “someone” will eventually suffer a serious injury.
Each accident case has its own set of unique facts. For example we have had cases where people suffered injuries as a result of the building failing to put out any mat or runner on a marble floor even though it was raining and the floor was slippery, where a supermarket let the runner bunch up leaving a raised edge that caused a women to trip, where a super was mopping a floor and put out no mats or warning signs (all of which falls were captured on video we obtained).
So if you or a loved one has suffered an injury while trying to enter or exit a building and were caused to slip, trip or fall as a result of a defective mat or runner then you should immediately contact a lawyer with experience in this field off law so that an investigation can be started immediately.
If you are in need of legal assistance, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 917-842-9544, toll-free at 800-269-2780, or you can submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is always free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery.
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