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Top Causes of Slips and Falls (and When a Property Owner May be Responsible)

Every year, over 9 million people visit the emergency room after a slip or a fall. Some accidents result in minor injuries like bruises, others in mid-grade injuries like sprains, and still others lead to incredibly serious repercussions like brain injuries or death. While there are many causes of slips and falls, property owners are often to blame. Yet far too many people assume a slip or a fall was their fault, never hold the property owner responsible, and end up paying out of pocket for medical expenses they could have been compensated for.

Below I’ll tell you about some of the most common causes of slips and falls, as well as when a property owner may be responsible. If you experience any of these scenarios and feel the property owner’s negligence was the cause, get in touch with a Passaic County slip and fall attorney right away.

Slippery or Uneven Surfaces

Slips and falls are commonly caused by surfaces that are wet, slippery, or uneven. Sometimes this kind of slip may be the person’s fault, but other times a property owner may have caused the accident by not doing enough to keep their property safe.

Floors are a common culprit in slip and fall cases, including loose floorboards or even clutter left on a floor. Torn carpet can also cause serious trips, as can floors that were recently waxed or mopped (especially if the property owner fails to put up a caution sign). Spilled drinks at restaurants and broken jars at supermarkets can also create serious hazards.

Outdoor areas like parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks are also often poorly maintained. Potholes in parking lots can quickly lead to a sprained ankle if they aren’t properly filled or if there is no caution sign. Likewise, a cracked sidewalk or driveway that isn’t repaired could result in injury.

Whether these kinds of slips are the fault of the property owner depends on a variety of factors, but in general if the property owner could have prevented or better warned the victim about the potential for a fall and failed to do so, they may be held liable for your injuries. If you are unsure whether a property owner is at fault, getting in touch with a slip and fall lawyer in Passaic County is a good first step to take.


Weather conditions are usually out of our control, but unfortunately they lead to many slips and falls each year. Winter is obviously a dangerous season for walking in New Jersey, when snow storms can come out of nowhere and far too many people fail to properly shovel and de-ice their sidewalks and driveways. Different New Jersey communities have different ordinances for when snow and ice must be removed, but if a property owner fails to keep an area safe, they could potentially be held liable for your injuries.

Slippery floors, stairs, or wood surfaces like decks after rainstorms are also often incredibly dangerous. While it is obviously not easy to remove rain water outdoors, if you are at a restaurant or business where foot traffic has brought in water from outside and the owner failed to mop it up, the business could be responsible.

Workplace Negligence and Lack of Safety Training

Whether you work in the construction industry, at a restaurant, or at a big box store, unsafe work conditions and a lack of training are some of the most common causes of slips and falls at work. According to the CDC, healthcare workers, maintenance workers, transportation and material moving workers, and construction workers are most likely to experience falls.

At construction sites, falls are incredibly common, whether a worker falls from scaffolding or from an unstable ladder. In fact, the construction industry experiences the highest death rates for falls of any industry. Maintenance workers also often work at heights while making repairs, so they are also at risk. In terms of the highest numbers of non-fatal falls, the health services and retail and wholesale industries rank at the top of the list. At restaurants and stores, slips often happen due to spills, broken glass, or other obstructions on the floor.

All too often, workers are not trained on how to do their jobs safely and suffer injuries because of it. In this scenario, their employer could be held responsible for a serious fall or slip. If you think your supervisor or the business owner may be responsible for an injury you sustained at work, it is best to get in touch with a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible.

Neglect in Nursing Homes

A very common (and very overlooked) cause of slips and falls among the elderly is nursing home neglect. Falls are incredibly common among people over the age of 65: one in three fall each year, says the Centers for Disease Control. Many of these falls result in serious broken bones, especially hip fractures, yet most people assume that falling is no one’s fault, and that it is just a part of life when we get old. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Administrators, aids, and nurses in nursing homes are sometimes to blame in these situations because they fail to properly monitor residents or keep their surroundings safe. All too often, people are allowed to walk on their own when they should not be doing so. Clutter left on the floor or spills that are not cleaned up can also lead to falls. Nursing home owners may be to blame if an elderly person falls within their facility and they did not take proper precautions to prevent it.

What to Do After a Slip or Fall

Regardless of the type of slip or fall that has left you injured, taking photos and gathering witness statements after your accident is a must. In addition, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. If you take these steps, it will help your odds of being fairly compensated by the insurance company.

If you feel someone else is responsible for the injuries you sustained in a slip or fall, you will need to prove this, but doing so can be complicated. The best first step is to contact a Passaic County slip and fall attorney. At Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli, we’ve been helping New Jersey slip and fall victims for decades and are committed to holding property owners responsible.

Our firm has helped many northern New Jersey accident victims recover fair compensation and recover from their injuries. We are dedicated to giving personalized attention and time to each and every client and think of each client as a member of our own family. If you are suffering and feel that it was not your fault, get in touch with us today. Consultations are completely free.

Call us at (973) 785-9522.

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Robert J. Bavagnoli is a Passaic County attorney specializing in personal injury and real estate law. He founded Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli in 1995 where he practiced for many years alongside his brother, Ronald C. Bavagnoli (now deceased). For over 28 years, he has proudly served Northern New Jersey including Passaic County, Bergen County, and Essex County, among others, recovering millions in damages for his clients.

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Highest praise for the professionalism and ease of working with Robert Bavagnoli and his team! I used his services for the sale and closing of a home. He acted quickly, made the process easy and covered all the bases so I didn't have to be concerned about anything. This gentleman is a pleasure to do business with and who I want in an attorney!

- Lynda R.

Great firm for personal injury plaintiffs. The welfare of the client always comes first.

- Jonathan M.

Thorough, friendly, upbeat and very professional. They kept me informed of every decision they made.  They made me feel like I’m part of their family. I would highly recommend Robert Bavagnoli to anyone that needs the assistance.

- Earl C.

I was involved in an accident and didn't know what to do.  I decided to call Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli. They welcomed me to their firm. They were so polite and as I spoke with them and saw how friendly and polite they were it lifted me up and put my mind at ease. I wasn't scared anymore and it was an excellent experience from beginning to end.

- Tamika P.

For me the experience with Bavagnoli and Bavagnoli was wonderful!  My lawyer handled my case and it went excellent, even better than I imagined.

- Ms. Dela Cruz

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Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli Office

12 Furler St.
Suite 5,
Totowa, NJ 07512

Phone: (973) 785-9522


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