Our firm has had a lot of success recently handling slip and fall cases with catastrophic injuries. Most of these cases revolve around a defect in a walkway or path. This defect can be either in the design of the walkway or in the failure to keep the walkway safe and secure. One way to prove a defect is to rely on ASTM standards.
ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards. ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and build consumer confidence. In the United States, they set a standard for what is considered safe.
In regards to walkway surfaces, ASTM standards are as follows:
5.1.1 Walkways shall be stable, planar, flush, and even to the extent possible. Where walkways cannot be made flush and even, they shall conform to the requirements of 5.2 and 5.3.
5.1.2 Walkway surfaces for pedestrians shall be capable of safely sustaining intended loads.
5.1.3 Walkway surfaces shall be slip resistant under expected environmental conditions and use. Painted walkways shall contain an abrasive additive, cross-cut grooving, texturing or other appropriate means to render the surface slip resistant where wet conditions may be reasonably foreseeable.
5.1.4 Interior walkways that are not slip resistant when wet shall be maintained dry during periods of pedestrian use.
5.2 Walkway Changes in Level:
5.2.1 Adjoining walkway surfaces shall be made flush and fair, whenever possible and for new construction and existing facilities to the extent practicable.
5.2.2 Changes in levels of less than 1/4 in. (6 mm) in height may be without edge treatment. The actual standards show figures and examples of this.
5.2.3 Changes in levels between 1/4 and 1/2 in. (6 and 12 mm) shall be beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2 (rise:run).
5.2.4 Changes in levels greater than 1/2 in. (12 mm) shall be transitioned by means of a ramp or stairway that complies with applicable building codes, regulations, standards, or ordinances, or all of these.
Walkway must comply with these standard or injuries resulting on them are compensable to the injured person under the legal theories of negligence and negligence per se. While this is so, there are other theories of negligence that may apply in specific circumstances that are too numerous to cover in this post.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful premises injury and slip and fall cases for individuals and families who have been injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of property owner such as bars, restaurants, and other public locations for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in slip and fall or premises accident case and would like to discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.