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Slip and falls linked to poor slip resistance on flooring

There are steps that Georgia business owners can take to prevent slip-and-fall accidents from occurring. CNA Financial Corporation has released the Slip and Fall Study Report after analyzing the slip-and-fall liability claims it received between January 2010 and December 2016. The authors came to several important conclusions.

The report revealed that the flooring in 50 percent of the surveyed sites did not produce the minimum threshold levels of dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF). To put it more simply, the floors were not sufficiently slip-resistant. The majority of slip and falls took place in real estate and retail businesses. 40 percent of the incidents happened in entryways, 33 percent in parking lots and 27 percent on sidewalks that lead up to an entrance. Less than 1 percent of the accidents happened on interior office floors.

Frequency rather than severity was the dominant characteristic of slip and falls. However, some of the victims incurred traumatic brain injuries, leading to higher claim rates among individuals with general liability insurance than those with workers' compensation coverage.

Business owners should be careful when selecting floors, and regular maintenance is highly recommended. Owners can test the DCOF levels of their floors with a tribometer to see how they stand up to wet conditions. They also should make sure their cleaning agents are compatible with the floor type.

However, some business owners neglect to warn people about clutter or wet flooring. In these cases, the victim of a slip-and-fall accident may have a valid injury claim. A lawyer can assess the claim by determining just how negligent both parties were. Negligence on the victim's part won't necessarily make a claim invalid, but it will lower the possible settlement amount. An attorney also can hire investigators and other experts to build up the case before negotiating with the insurance companies.

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