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Dangerous conditions that may lead to a slip and fall accident

Falls can be vastly more serious than many people realize, and many Americans end up in the emergency room every year after slipping and falling. While the accident may take place in a split second and you'll have to sort out the how and why of it afterward, it's important consider the dangerous conditions that often lead to these accidents.

-- Flooring issues: A rug could be rolled up on one side or a piece of carpet could be torn. Even just the change from one type of flooring to the next -- stepping off of carpet and onto slick tiles, for instance -- can be problematic.

-- Poor lighting: This can be an indoor and an outdoor issue. When you can't see, obstacles that may otherwise have been perfectly obvious -- like the beginning of a staircase -- can cause you to fall.

--Maintenance issues:Everything wears out, especially in high traffic areas. Common maintenance issues include broken stair treads, cracked tiles, broken or missing banisters and handrails. While some wear and tear is to be expected, hazards need to be fixed by property owners.

-- Wet floors: California may not get much in the way of ice and snow, a common slip-and-fall hazard in northern states, but wet floors can still be an issue, both indoors and out. This could be caused by the rain, by a broken pipe, by a spill, or numerous other factors.

The key thing to remember is that, no matter why a fall happened, you need to know if someone else was at fault due to his or her negligence in removing the danger. If so, you may then be able to get financial compensation.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Accidents Overview," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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