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Avoid Slip & Fall Injury This Winter

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Icy Walkways

Common Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents

Slip, trip, and fall accidents are some of the most common and can lead to significant injuries. In fact, they are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the US. Though they are often dismissed as insignificant, a slip or fall can result in broken bones, muscle sprains and strains, and even spine, neck, and head injuries. There are many causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents, but the most prevalent are hazardous conditions caused by weather-related issues and unsafe premises.

Some of the most common causes of winter slip and fall accidents include the following:

  • Snow and ice on walkways
  • Water and puddles in entranceways to stores
  • Crowded aisles
  • Obstructions in walkways and aisles
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Broken sidewalks

Keep reading to learn how to avoid a slip-and-fall accident and what you can do as a property or business owner to help protect patrons.

How to Avoid a Slip & Fall Accident

The best way to avoid slip, trip, or fall accidents this winter is to remain aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions, especially in new environments or areas with lots of people and potential hazards. During the holiday season, many stores and shopping districts have new displays and decorations installed. These can all contribute to slip and fall accidents, even in stores you feel familiar with.

Other tips for avoiding slip and fall accidents include:

  • Look out for snow, ice, and water after storms and bad weather
  • Pay attention to posted warning signs
  • Wear shoes and boots with strong, anti-skid treads
  • Avoid multitasking and distractions while walking in unfamiliar areas, stores, or while in hazardous conditions

What Can Business Owners Do to Protect Patrons?

As a property owner or manager, you have a duty to keep your property reasonably safe for visitors. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your property as safe as possible for visitors. This means responding to issues that create hazards as quickly as possible and taking appropriate measures to warn your patrons or guests of existing hazards.

For example, if someone spills something on the floor, it should not only be mopped up right away but signs should also be posted warning of the spill both before it is cleaned and for a time after while the area dries. In some cases, it may also be necessary to rope the area off.

Tips for preventing slip & fall accidents for business owners include:

  • Posting clear warning signs of tripping or slipping hazards
  • Installing anti-slip pads on walkways and stairs
  • Removing tripping hazards, such as loose floor mats, from walkways and entranceways
  • Clean up spills and related issues as quickly as possible
  • Keep aisles and pathways clear
  • Removing snow and ice from walkways
  • Keeping walkways and pathways in good repair
  • Increasing the lighting where customers and visitors may be walking

By taking the initiative to improve the safety of your store or business, you can help protect your patrons and your employees from unnecessary slip-and-fall accidents and avoid a personal injury lawsuit.

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident

Even the most cautious person may suffer a slip, trip, or fall injury. When this happens, it is important that you be assessed and treated by a medical professional, even if you think you are uninjured. After a fall, you may suffer from inflammation and/or shock, both of which can mask symptoms. For example, sprains and stress fractures may not be immediately apparent but can lead to long-term problems and chronic pain if left untreated.

We also recommend you speak with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling premises liability cases in Nassau County, like ours at Foley Griffin. Not only can your attorney help you deal with insurance companies, but should you need to file a premises liability suit, they can help you with that too.

You may wonder why you should speak with a lawyer after a slip-and-fall accident. The answer is fairly simple. Often, filing a personal injury suit is your best option when it comes to recovering full compensation for your injury expenses, especially in situations where you need ongoing care and/or must miss work while you recover.

However, we also appreciate that filing a suit can be complicated and stressful. With this in mind, our attorneys aim to provide comprehensive legal representation that is responsive and flexible to your needs. To discuss your case with one of our lawyers today, send us a message online, or call our office at (888) 966-8480.