Most people think of slip and fall accident risks as something related to winter hazards, but there are dangers throughout the entire year. As the weather warms up and spring blossoms, assessing the areas that see frequent foot traffic is a wise move. This is especially true in the northern states, where winter weather sometimes sneaks into springtime months.
Who is at Risk for Slip and Fall Accidents?
Many slip and fall victims are children or the elderly, but people of any age can fall. The injuries that result can be minor or severe, happen at home or work, or on someone else’s property. The fall can result from the negligence of a third party or can be from a simple mistake. Sometimes, when negligent actions cause the fall, it is necessary to involve a lawyer to help seek compensation for medical bills.
Common Slip and Fall Hazards
Hazards to be aware of include weather, debris, negligence, uneven surfaces, and more. Some are not expected, thus catching people off guard. The following includes common slip and fall hazards in springtime:
Weather Hazards: In spring, while temperatures are generally rising, there can sometimes be an occasional freeze overnight. If there is still ice and snow, it will refreeze. It is essential to pay close attention to where one steps. Even mud and slush are potential slip hazards.
Environmental Hazards: These include oil spots, unpainted curbs or ramps, potholes, walkways and parking lots, and cluttered areas.
Negligence Hazards: Negligence is when a responsible party knows that there is a hazard but neglects to warn people or fix the situation. Examples include inadequate lighting, taking too long to fix a known problem, and not making others aware of the dangerous issue.
How can a Person Avoid a Slip and Fall Accident?
While not every situation can be avoided, taking some general precautions is a good start. The most common prevention methods that come to mind are being aware of a person’s surroundings, slowing down, and using railings. Other actions to help prevent slip and falls include:
- Wearing shoes that are waterproof, have good tread, and good ankle support.
- Avoiding heels during the pedestrian portion of a commute.
- Watching each step taken to avoid ice patches or slick ground.
- Using non-slip mats on surfaces and keeping walkways clear of debris.
- Having good lighting in foot traffic areas.
- Becoming familiar with the paths most taken and noting any changes in the ground quality.
- Reporting any issues to the person responsible for upkeep.
Accidents do not just happen outside. Anytime a person enters an establishment or someone’s home, they should watch where they are walking. Besides outdoor areas such as parking lots, slips are common in restaurants, cluttered businesses and homes, and grocery stores.
Slip and Fall Accident Injuries
Even slipping without falling completely down can be harmful. Sprained and pulled muscles can take a toll on the body. Depending how hard or far someone falls also impacts the level of severity. Below are some injuries that can result from slip and fall accidents:
Torn Tendons and Ligaments: The wrists, knees, and feet are the most affected. Sometimes, they can lead to permanent damage, and in most cases, treatment and recovery takes a lot of time.
Broken Hips or Pelvic Bones: Broken bones are very painful and can take months to heal. These injuries can affect the ability to sit, walk, or work.
Head Injuries: Head injuries should be taken very seriously because they can result in brain damage. They also do not always seem serious at first, and people often do not seek treatment after hitting their head. However, serious and catastrophic injuries can severely impact a person’s life.
Neck, Back, and Spinal Injuries: Injuries to these areas often cause a person ongoing chronic pain and require surgery to fix or relieve the pain, which does not always solve it.
What Happens if a Person is Injured from a Slip and Fall?
After a slip and fall accident, it is crucial to get immediate medical attention. Even if the injuries do not seem that serious, doing so can help build a case. It is also important to document where the fall occurred, this will help identify any potential causes for the fall. If there were any witnesses, it is also a good idea to get their contact information. The property owner should also be informed so they can fix any potential problems.
Determining Fault in a Slip and Fall Case
It is not always easy to determine who is at fault in a slip and fall accident case, but it is important to remember that premises liability applies. When injuries happen on someone else’s property because of negligence, there could be a case for receiving compensation for medical bills or pain and suffering. For example, if inadequate lighting at an apartment complex causes a resident to fall, many people could be held liable. This is why involving a lawyer is best.
Piscataway Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims with Springtime Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many slip and fall hazards during spring, but some accidents can result from negligence. If you have a severe slip and fall injury, a Piscataway slip and fall lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you with your case. We have an office located in Highland Park, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia. For a free consultation, call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online.