Slip-and-fall accidents rise during winter season

Posted on in Premises Liability

The holiday season is extremely busy for most businesses, especially for retail establishments. It is also a time when slip, trip and fall accidents increase due to inclement winter weather. This is not just a concern for the safety of customers and employees, but also for potential lawsuits that might result from a fall.

According to the National Safety Council, business owners spend $70 billion annually in worker compensation and medical claims. The winter months are when a good deal of these compensation claims are filed. That's why business owners are encouraged to take all precautions necessary to prevent workers and customers from becoming injured on the property.

Salting sidewalks when the conditions may be slippery and placing mats outside and inside the entrance to the store is essential to reduce the likelihood of a bad fall on the premises, but many business owners fail to do this. Mats should be properly secured in its location, have good traction and slip-resistant backing. They should also be kept clean. Up to a pound of dirt and other debris can build up on these mats in a single week, rendering them far less effective and possibly doing more harm than good.

Getting compensated for a trip or fall that causes injury can sometimes be difficult because store owners or their insurers may say there wasn't sufficient notice that would allow them to fix the cause of the fall. If you are injured from a trip or fall at a store, be sure to take inventory of your surroundings. What caused you to fall? Are there slippery areas or other dangerous conditions store managers should have known about? An experienced personal injury attorney can help you ask the right questions and determine if you should be compensated for the cost of your injuries.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "'Tis the Season for Slip, Trip and Fall Claims," Dec. 12, 2011

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