There are a couple of seemingly innocent objects out there that you probably don t have a clue are dangerous, but that have caused people to get injured over and over. One causes fractures and the other causes lacerations. One is on the floor and the other one is mounted on a wall. So what do you think?
One is found in retail stores, office buildings, malls and all types of public facilities. The other is typically found in a restroom at a fast food place, gas station, apartment swimming pool or even at law offices.
When people get hurt in accidents involving these items, typically they are embarrassed and may think it’s their fault or was a freak accident. They usually don t know it’s an accident pattern that’s happened over and over. As an attorney who has practiced for 30 years, when I see patterns like this, I know I am only seeing a very small percentage of the total similar events.
So what do you think I’m talking about?
Next time you walk into a grocery store, retail outlet or office building keep an eye out for the floor mats. Many businesses use cheap, poorly maintained and worn-out floor mats. They flip up and bunch up and cause trip hazards. Most people who stumble or trip over these mats don t get hurt, the incident never gets documented or reported, and it’s an uneventful moment. However, there have been thousands of injuries and fractures caused by these mats. One case against a major national grocery store revealed hundreds of reported injury-causing mat claims in just one of their districts in a short period of time. Many lawyers don t take these cases because of the challenging case law involved in premises liability cases in Texas. But they can be successfully resolved with the right approach.
If you use one of these mats in your own business or where you work, try to get rid of it! There are many mats on the market that are well designed and don’t have the tripping tendencies of the cheap, poorly maintained, worn-out mats. When you walk into a store or business, keep a look out for a bunched up or flipped over mat so that you don t become another mat statistic!
So what do you think is in a restroom that goes around lacerating folks? How about a wall-mounted sink? We have had multiple cases in which sinks fall off the wall. They hit the concrete floor and basically explode. And when you go down with the sink, sometimes severe or even life-threatening lacerations may follow. So is this a freak accident? Is it your fault because you were leaning or putting pressure on the sink? Nope.
In all likelihood, the sink wasn t installed correctly. Wall-mounted sinks typically rest on a bracket. The bracket gets stressed over time and starts to give, and at some point in time the sink can pop off the bracket and crash to the ground. These sinks are designed with mounting bolt holes on the underside of the sink to provide additional support. Problem is, in the initial installation of the sinks that fail, the mounting support bolts haven’t been utilized. So, don t put pressure on wall-mounted sinks. And if you have one in your business, take a look underneath and see if the support bolts were utilized to keep the sink from falling off the bracket.
If you hear about one of these events happening, give us a call. And keep an eye out so you are not a victim. If you see a bad mat or a poorly designed sink installation, bring it to the appropriate person’s attention to prevent someone else’s emergency room trip.