It’s not uncommon to feel embarrassed following a fall. How many “funny” videos include people taking a tumble? The accidents may be funny to watch, but they aren’t so easy to laugh off for Raleigh victims who’ve suffered serious injuries.

Slip-and-fall accidents, second only in number to motor vehicle crash injuries, send more than 540,000 people to U.S. hospital emergency rooms every year. More employees die after slips and falls than all other types of at-work accidents combined. Many of these accidents are preventable.

Injured workers receive workers’ compensation benefits. Injured customers may seek compensation through property owners’ insurers and premises liability claims. Legal actions allege injuries were caused by negligent behavior, mainly by an owner or, in the case of a business, an operator.

Defendants are accused of doing something or failing to do something that could have kept an accident from occurring. Property owners owe visitors a duty of care to maintain a safe premises. If you slip and fall on a wet floor at a North Carolina gym, the reason may be a safety hazard was not addressed by the owner.

Wet floors may be caused by spills, leaks, condensation, routine cleaning and foot traffic on a rainy or snowy day. A business owner is required to anticipate safety problems, inspect a property regularly and correct or warn others of dangerous conditions as quickly as possible.

Property owners are expected to take preventive actions, like placing signs or barriers around a wet area. Accidents occur when unsafe conditions go unnoticed by owners and visitors. It’s the owner or operator’s responsibility to deal with safety issues before someone gets hurt, not the visitor’s job to inspect a premises for hidden dangers.

A premises liability attorney can support a victim’s claim that a property owner or third party acted carelessly. The result may be a settlement or damages for injury-related medical costs and wage losses.

Source: The Green in Hygience, ” Slippery When Wet: The Hazards of Wet Floors” accessed Jan. 29, 2015