The winter months can be particularly dangerous for shoppers, pedestrians, and anyone else out for a casual stroll, especially when snow, rain, or ice cover the ground. Slips, trips, and other falling incidents can happen at any time of the year, but during the wintertime, these incidents tend to occur more frequently. Luckily, if you know some of the common causes of these accidents, you can better prepare yourself to avoid an injury yourself.
Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in the winter include:
1. Icy Walkways
When temperatures drop, any wet spots on the ground can freeze, creating a thin layer of ice. These sheets of slick ice can cover sidewalks, roads, walkways, stairs, and virtually any other cold, wet surface. If the ice is not cleared, anyone could slip and suffer a serious injury. If a property owner fails to clear the ice from their property and someone else slips, they may be liable for the resulting damage.
Wearing proper winter footwear with good traction could help with this issue, but it still might not prevent an accident altogether.
2. Wet Floors
In cool weather, snow, rain, and condensation will usually find a way inside, no matter how you may try to prevent it. When smooth floors, like tile or wood, become wet, they can be exceptionally dangerous to walk on, especially if they are not dried regularly. Shops, markets, and other stores can be particularly prone to these types of incidents in poor weather, and must be vigilant about wiping away spills and marking trouble areas with hazard signs. To prevent these types of incidents, property owners and store managers should provide a place for visitors to wipe their boots, and ought to mop up wet areas regularly.
3. Poorly Maintained Sidewalks
Sidewalks, walkways, roads, and any other outdoor area can become weather-worn after time, especially in winter months when wind, rain, and snow can be especially brutal. If these areas are not maintained, they could become quite hazardous for passersby. Bad weather might wind up creating dangerous potholes, cracked sidewalks, uneven walkways, broken stairs, missing handrails, and other serious dangers. Whether the property is owned by the city or a private entity, if the public has access to it, it should be safely maintained.
4. Worn & Broken Flooring
Exterior walkways are not the only surfaces in danger of sustaining damage during the winter. Inside, floors can be damaged by high foot traffic, especially if those feet come carrying rain, snow, mud, and other damaging materials. This type of abuse can result in torn carpets, uneven floorboards, broken stairs, and other hazards. If you are a property owner, it is your responsibility to fix these hazards, and any others, to preserve the safety of any visitors.
A slip and fall accident may seem commonplace, but these types of incidents can be extremely harmful. Slips and trips can result in head injuries, spinal injuries, serious bruises, broken bones, muscle sprains, and more. Even if your injury seems minor, it could still cause substantial damage and could cost you a considerable amount in medical expenses. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident due to another person’s negligence or mistake, you need to act fast to pursue justice and seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact Samster Konkel & Safran, S.C. today to discuss your slip and fall case with our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys.