Let’s talk about why getting Non-slip floors with Surefloor is Cheaper than a Lawsuit
We’re not lawyers, so this isn’t legal advice. We’re just trying to make sure your floors are safe so you can avoid slip and fall issues like these. If you experience a slip and fall – as a victim or a property owner – be sure to speak with a qualified lawyer!
If you’ve ever thought your floors might be too slippery, you’re probably running the risk of a slip and fall happening on your property. Aside from injuries, this could lead to a slip and fall lawsuit, also known as a “premises liability” suit. But what exactly does that mean? And what does a slip and fall lawsuit entail? We’ll try to break down what they’re all about and why you might want to consider New Jersey’s Non-Slip Solution SureFloor to help you avoid them altogether.
Your Duty of Care
Get ready for some legal knowledge. As a business owner, you’re generally required to use a “reasonable level of care” to prevent injuries to folks who enter your property. That means if you know – or should have known – about a hazard, it’s your duty to fix it and keep them safe from any potential dangers. It’s also your job to inspect for and correct any hazards that may arise so that your customers don’t get hurt.
To figure out what’s “reasonable,” you should ask yourself, “What would a reasonably prudent person of ordinary intelligence do under the same circumstances?”
However, this question of what is “reasonable” isn’t always clear cut when it comes to slip and fall cases. In fact, it often changes based on the situation, so it’s a question that’s open to interpretation by a judge or jury. They’ll have to decide if the owner was reasonable or fell short of his duty depending on the circumstances.
One’s duty of reasonable care might include things like regularly scheduled inspections of the customer areas to make sure there’s nothing hazardous lying around (like a puddle of melted snow). It could mean cleaning, mopping up, or fixing issues on an hourly basis or warning customers of non-obvious dangers. Determining what’s “reasonable” will dictate the duty of care required. When a business owner does not exercise a reasonable level of care to make his property safe, he may be found negligent.
In terms of slip and fall cases, the negligent defendant is typically an owner who unreasonably failed to remedy the dangerous situation or hazard – like a wet spot – which caused the slip.
That might mean that the owner or his employees didn’t clean up a spill after they noticed or should have noticed it. Or perhaps they saw that rainwater was being tracked into the store and didn’t act to mop it up within a reasonable amount of time. Or maybe they didn’t actually notice the floors were wet and slippery, but enough time had passed that they should have noticed it.
Yeah, it can get confusing. To figure out the whole “should they have noticed?” and “did they have the opportunity to fix it?” issues which play into the question of negligence, the court will want to know more facts:
Did the company have an employee schedule for inspecting the floors or mopping up wet spots? Is there a record or timesheet that shows when this was last done? Had the wet spot been there all day or did it occur just before the accident? Did the owner have a chance to clean it up or put up a warning sign?
Oh, and in the case of employees who failed to do their job properly, that doesn’t get the owner off the hook! An employer is typically liable for his employees’ negligence through what’s called “vicarious liability.”
Who’s to Blame?
Ahh, another interesting bit. A lawyer for the plaintiff may name several responsible parties in a slip and fall case in order to recover. If you’re a business owner who’s renting the space from a property owner, the plaintiff might choose to name both you and the property owner as defendants. If there’s a party who manages the property, the management company could also be named.
So… How Much Will a Slip and Fall Cost You?
It’s impossible to estimate how much money a slip and fall plaintiff can recover or how much a business owner might be liable for in any of these cases. It’s often a question of fact, and judges and juries will take into consideration the severity of the injury incurred by the victim and the degree of negligence by the defendant (in cases where punitive damages are at stake).
To arrive at a dollar figure, the court will consider the plaintiff’s medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages caused by the accident – both past and future! Slip and fall judgments can result in awards ranging from hundreds of dollars to millions. If the plaintiff’s injury was short-term and not permanent, around $10,000 to $15,000 is common, but as a plaintiff’s injuries worsen, the dollar amount increases accordingly. In cases of profound negligence by the defendant, parties have reached multi-million dollar settlements.
How much does your insurance cover again?
Don’t expect many dramatic courtroom scenes here though. Most of these slip and fall cases won’t go to court at all. Instead, your insurance agent and lawyer will most likely negotiate an out of court settlement with the plaintiff.
How SureFloor Can Help Reduce Your Risk of Lawsuits
Since every slip and fall case revolves around the issue of whether the business or property owner acted carefully to avoid slips and injuries on his property, our no-slip floor treatments are a huge step in the right direction.
An injured plaintiff has to show that the accident was caused by a dangerous condition on the property, like a floor that’s inherently slippery or a floor that becomes dangerously slippery when wet. And that’s a way more common problem than you might imagine.
In a study by CNA Financial Corporation, half of workplace floors inspected were too slippery by industry standards. Across a number of industries, they found that 50% of floors failed to meet the dynamic coefficient of friction (COF) of 0.42, the minimum threshold set by the American National Standards Institute. The COF basically describes how rough or grippy a surface is, so the lower the COF (or traction rating), the slicker and riskier your floors become. This number may even come into play as evidence in a potential slip and fall lawsuit.
That means that even those well-intentioned business owners who take appropriate steps to clean up standing water and spills may have already selected flooring materials that are just too slippery to be considered safe.
SureFloor is the perfect solution for remedying floors that are too slick. Not only can we help you guard against the hazards of spills and wet floors, but we can also give your floors a better tread when dry. Our proprietary floor treatments bring your floors up to an acceptable traction rating – one that’s considered safe by the American National Standards Institute. We can prove it. You will literally feel the difference after we’ve finished with your floors. They’ll be safer immediately.
While regular maintenance is always necessary to keep your floors clean and clear of hazards, the fact is that the higher the COF of your floors, the lower your risk of slips.
Having your floors treated by SureFloor shows that you’re taking proactive and reasonable action to combat a slippery floor, remedy a potentially dangerous situation, and improve the safety of your property for your customers and guests. Don’t risk an expensive, stressful, and time-consuming lawsuit. Let SureFloor make your floors safer.