Researchers at CNA Financial Corporation have studied the slip and fall liability claims the insurer faced between 2010 and 2016, and they came to several conclusions that may intrigue business owners in New Jersey. Most importantly, in 50 percent of the surveyed sites, flooring did not meet the minimum threshold for dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) levels; in other words, they had inadequate slip resistance.
Real estate and retail businesses were the most prone to slip and fall accidents. Forty percent of slip and falls occurred on business entryways, 33 percent in parking lots, and 27 percent on sidewalks leading up to the entrance. Less than 1 percent took place on interior office floors.
While slip and falls tend to result in minor injuries, there were exceptions as some suffered traumatic brain injuries. The rate and seriousness of claims resulting from brain injuries were higher among those covered by general liability insurance than by those covered under workers’ compensation.
The authors of the study end by encouraging careful floor selection and regular maintenance. Business owners should periodically measure DCOF levels with a tribometer, and the cleaning agents they use should match the floor type. They should also keep flooring clear of contaminants and promote awareness of the risks that come with slippery flooring.
It’s only a matter of time before dangerous property conditions bring about a slip and fall accident. Victims of such accidents should speak with a lawyer about filing a premises liability claim so that they can be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any future lost income if they’ve been permanently disabled. A lawyer could send investigators to the accident scene and determine if the business owner was responsible.