Winter brings a picturesque blanket of snow in some places, but it also brings an increased risk of slip and fall accidents due to wet and icy conditions.
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, we care about your safety, and we want to ensure you navigate winter without any unexpected tumbles. Here, we discuss common preventable reasons why slip and fall accidents occur and how you can take some simple steps to avoid being injured.
What’s a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall happens when someone slips, trips, or falls because of something unsafe on someone's property. It's a problem when the owner or person in charge didn't take care of the property, and that carelessness leads to the slip or fall. If someone else is responsible for the injury, the person who got hurt might be entitled to money to help with costs that result from their injury.
Some examples of property owner negligence that can cause or contribute to a slip and fall accident include:
- Failing to clean up snow or ice in the entryway of a busy business.
- Failing to place warnings about slippery surfaces or prevent guests from accessing the area.
- A retail business failing to fix a roofing or gutter issue that’s been known to leak, leading to the accumulation of water or ice that presents a slipping hazard.
- A restaurant failing to fix or adequately address open holes or tripping hazards in its outdoor eating area that pose reasonable risks of slip, trip, and fall accidents for customers.
- A landlord’s failure to repair a staircase that has known damage, and which residents have previously complained about in the past.
General Info About Slip and Fall Accidents
When you get hurt from slipping and falling, there are a lot of things to think about to figure out who is responsible and what legal actions you can take.
Usually, businesses and property managers want you to tell them about the accident right away. Even if there's no strict rule about how quickly you have to report it, it's a good idea to write down what happened. This record can be useful for your own records and can help if you need legal help later on.
While contacting an attorney as soon as possible can be a good way to ensure the hazardous condition will be preserved long enough to be investigated, you can also take photos of the dangerous condition that caused your accident before it gets repaired. These photos could serve as useful evidence in illustrating the risks presented by the hazard.
Practical Tips to Protect Yourself
Here are some practical tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from slip and fall accidents during the winter months:
- Wear Appropriate Footwear: Invest in sturdy, slip-resistant footwear with good traction. Boots with deep treads can help grip icy surfaces, reducing the risk of slipping.
- Take It Slow: In icy conditions, slow and steady wins the race. Take smaller steps, keep your center of gravity over your feet, and avoid rushing, especially when entering or exiting buildings.
- Avoid Distractions: During winter, it's crucial to stay focused on your surroundings. Put away electronic devices, avoid texting while walking, and concentrate on the path ahead to prevent accidents.
- Keep Hands Free: Carry items in a backpack or bag to keep your hands free. This allows you to use your hands for balance and support if needed.
- Inform Property Owners. If you encounter wet or icy conditions in high-traffic areas at businesses or properties, you should let the owner know to ensure that the issue is fixed and others before anyone gets hurt. Property owners have a responsibility to address such hazards, especially if they are recurring and caused by correctable issues, and they can be held liable when they fail to do so.
By following these winter safety tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents and enjoy a safer winter season.
Steps to Take Following a Slip and Fall Injury
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall, take some time to reflect on what happened and record that information so the facts are preserved. When making notes of the accident, it’s a good idea to try and answer the following questions:
- Who was injured?
- What type of injury was suffered?
- What was the obstruction?
- Were any warnings posted about the hazard?
- Were any witnesses present?
- Who is the owner of the property?
This information is important in addressing the legal issues of your slip and fall accident. If another party is responsible for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensationfor your suffering, medical expenses, and more.
At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, we are dedicated to the well-being of our community. If you or a loved one has experienced a slip and fall accident due to negligence, don't hesitate to reach out to us at (702) 505-8115. Our team is here to provide the legal support you need.