Whenever you enter a business or stroll on the sidewalk you may encounter a trip and fall hazard. When you walk down a city sidewalk or through a store, you are not required by the law to always keep your eyes trained on your feet or the ground scanning for danger. Property owners are required, however, to keep the aisles, entrances, exits, and pathways or sidewalks free from any hazards that could cause you to trip and fall. In general, any riser, or part of a path that rises up from the surface, more than a half-inch is considered a hazard. Cities and municipalities are required to keep city sidewalks safe for ordinary use by pedestrians. Segments of city sidewalks often become displaced causing a ledge or a discontinuity to appear between the two segments that create significant trip hazards.
Stores and businesses are usually hectic environments. Customers are walking about while store employees are stocking shelves or moving inventory about inside the store. Boxes, pallets, and carts can easily wind up in the aisles. Store displays may spill out into the aisles or block the exits or entrances. Store employees are supposed to make sure that the aisles and entrances/exits are free from hazards, such as floor mats that have become unmoored or store inventory that has been placed in your path.
Many changes in surface height are marked with yellow paint to help them stand out. Sometimes, however, businesses fail to use this yellow or white warning paint to distinguish between changes in the flooring or surface. Unmarked steps or curbs can be hazardous for anyone. Features on the flooring such as door stops or other objects that are not marked or illuminated can easily cause severe injuries.
Regardless of the exact circumstances, the businesses and stores that you patronize need to take measures to prevent you from encountering anything that could cause you to trip and fall. If you or a loved one fall due to a trip hazard, contact our firm so that we can immediately begin investigating the facts and fighting for you.
811 First Ave Suite 510
Seattle, WA 98104