Now that the holidays are here, so is the winter season, which means you can expect more hazards that can potentially lead to a serious slip and fall accident. Snow and rain can make your journeys outdoors, and even indoors, dangerous. If you slipped and fell due to improperly maintained property, you could potentially hold the property owner or manager liable for the injuries you sustain. Contact the personal injury team at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC to learn more about your legal options and how we can help you.
Below is a list of tips you should keep in mind to avoid a slip and fall accident this winter:
- Look ahead: It will require a little extra time, but looking ahead of where you are walking to check the surrounding area for snow, ice, or other hazards is well worth your safety. Even if you are indoors, wet shoes can track in water, creating a slippery safety hazard that could increase the risk of a slip and fall accident.
- Wear the right footwear: You might enjoy a fancy pair of stilettos, but the winter season calls for more sensible footwear, such as boots or shoes with a sturdy, textured sole that provides more traction on ice or slippery surfaces. Instead of getting injured this season, wear the right shoes.
- Use supporting objects: Handrails are there for a reason, so use them. This will help you maintain balance, keep you upright, and even help you recover quickly if you are about to fall.
- Walk smart: If you go for a walk outside this winter, try not to be in a rush. This is easier said than done if you are experiencing that hectic last-minute scramble for a gift, but it is important to walk slowly and take smaller steps when surfaces are slippery or otherwise dangerous. Plan ahead so you can take your time.
- Wear the right eyewear: Not everyone has perfect vision, so if yours is compromised, remember to always wear corrective eyewear, so you can see any hazards in your path.
- Stay in shape: Try incorporating some leg strengthening exercises into your routine. They will help you improve muscle tone, stability, and strength in your legs, which is a major advantage during the holiday season.
- Avoid hazardous conditions: In some cases, the weather outside is simply too dangerous to really tackle. If you do not absolutely need to go outside, enjoy the day indoors, preferably with a nice, cozy blanket.
- Report hazardous conditions: Did you notice that the sidewalks or pavement is untreated? If you see hazardous property conditions, report them to a property owner or business manager. This could spare someone a potentially severe injury.
What Should be Done?
Ultimately, property owners are obligated to maintain a safe property for all guests and visitors. While there are some things you can do to avoid slip and fall accidents, there are some things they must do to help you stay safe as well:
- Use mats: Mats in entryways can help soak up water that gets tracked in from shoes, which will reduce the likelihood of slippery areas indoors.
- Inspect areas regularly: Property owners must also inspect the premises of their property to identify hazards and address them before an accident ever takes place.
- Salting walkways: Walkways should always be treated with sand, salt, or ice melt after a snowfall or an ice storm. The purpose of this is to add traction and to eliminate a dangerous buildup of snow, ice, or debris.
- Clear hazardous areas: Snow and ice should always be removed from sidewalks, stairs, and other walkways. In cases where an ongoing winter storm is occurring, the property owner should ensure hazards are removed at regular intervals.
- Post warning signs: If a hazard cannot adequately be addressed right away, a property owner should post warning signs to alert visitors and guests to any hazards. These areas should also be sectioned off for their safety.
Contact an Experienced Slip & Fall Attorney in Oneonta Today!
If you sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident that was caused by improperly maintained property, you might have a viable premises liability case. At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC in Oneonta, our skilled premises liability attorneys are committed to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what it takes to hold the responsible party or parties accountable for their negligent actions.