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Does your footwear matter in a slip-and-fall claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Slips, trips and falls are serious business. Falls are the number one reason for emergency room visits. Poor floor conditions are responsible for roughly two million injuries every year.

If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident and want to pursue a claim for compensation, one of the first things you’re likely to be asked by the defense is, “What shoes were you wearing?”

What does it matter? In essence, the defendant (or their insurance company) may try to shift at least part of the blame for your accident back to you. In states like Washington, which adheres to a contributory negligence rule, any compensation you might be due for your injuries can be reduced by whatever percentage of fault is assigned to you.

Was your footwear appropriate for the situation?

Your choice of footwear can significantly impact your stability and traction on different surfaces. Here are some of the things that may be considered when it comes to the shoes you had on at the time of your accident:

  • Were your shoes in decent shape? Shoes with worn-out treads and loose soles can make it harder for you to maintain your balance.
  • Did your shoes fit you? If your shoes were too loose or ill-fitting, that could have affected your gait and made you more prone to a fall.
  • What kind of traction did your shoes have? Slick-soled dress shoes, high-heels and flip-flops (beach sandals) are notoriously difficult to maintain your balance on.
  • Were the shoes appropriate for the situation? If you were wearing six-inch heels to a formal dinner event, that’s generally to be expected – but wearing those shoes in a grocery store or at a backyard barbecue could be seen as an assumption of risk

Slip-and-fall injuries can lead to devastating injuries, from broken bones to head wounds. If you’ve been hurt in a fall, it may be wise to learn more about your legal options.