Even though such incidents may not always be life-threatening, a slip and fall can become a serious setback that can affect an individual for an extensive period of time. And despite the familiarity of those yellow caution signs signaling a wet floor, some New Mexico residents do not receive a warning that conditions may be dangerous at all. Sometimes, customers who fall in stores cannot determine whether the store did, in fact, fail to maintain safety; yet there are some general facts to keep in mind in these potentially dangerous situations.
Knowing what constitutes a slip and fall can help when the situation does not seem clear. The University of Wisconsin's Department of Environmental Health and Safety dedicates an article to accident prevention, sharing the basics when it comes to slips, trips and falls. Surprising to many, UW notes that slip and falls are the second-most common type of accidents that can result in serious injury. The university defines a "slip" as an accident that takes places when there is not enough traction between a person's shoe and the floor. A "trip" occurs when a person comes in contact with an object in hir or her walking path, resulting in an accident. A "fall" occurs when a person is thrown off-balance.
After New Mexico residents get clearer definitions of slips and falls, they may be wondering whether or not to sue the business where the incident took place. Findlaw asks this question in regard to accidents at grocery stores, acknowledging that most victims do not know they have a right to sue in the first place. Nevertheless, thousands of personal injury claims come forward each year, and grocery store slip and falls make up the majority of these types of cases. Findlaw stresses that customers do not need to suffer from a life-threatening injury in order to sue; instead, an incident such as a minor slip resulting in a trip to the clinic can serve as a valid reason. Customers also do not need to purchase items in the store to sue, and may also seek legal action even when the accident occurred outside the place of business.