Slip And Fall Injuries | Slip And Fall Prevention
Avoid Slip and Fall injuries This Winter
Wisconsin winters are notorious for bringing ice, snow, and dangerous conditions throughout the state. It’s not a surprise that slip and fall injuries skyrocket during the winter months, but a few simple precautions can reduce your chances of becoming a victim to a slip and fall accident.
Tips to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries
Sometimes conditions are so bad that you just can’t avoid slipping or falling, but in many other cases, an awareness of your surroundings and proper preparations can prevent falls and their resulting injuries. When walking about this winter, make an effort to:
- Focus on stepping down from a curb or step as opposed to outward.
- Firmly plant your foot and step down as you exit a vehicle.
- Stick to marked walkways, particularly if they have been cleared of snow and ice.
- Slow your pace. Short, slow, flat-footed steps on ice are safer than long strides.
- Pay attention. Avoid talking on the phone while walking or carrying large, heavy, or awkward loads.
- Wear boots or shoes with good traction and grip. Smooth-soled shoes can encourage slips.
Property Owners and Liability
One concern for property owners regarding slip and fall injuries is the potential for liability for the injury. However, just because a slip and fall occurs on your property does not automatically mean you’ll be held liable for any injuries. Property owners can only be held liable if the injuries are the result of their own negligence. Visitors who are careless or walking where they shouldn’t be will find it difficult to prove property owner negligence.
Whether the incident occurs on public or private property can have an impact on liability because Wisconsin liability laws differ between the two property types.
- Private Property. Private property owners have differing levels of responsibility for injuries that occur on the property, depending on the status of the visitor who was injured. In general, property owners have a greater duty to provide safe conditions to guests and visitors than they do to trespassers. That duty includes managing the property to reduce the risk of harm to anyone who sets foot on the property. Owners have a legal responsibility to look for hazards on the property and take steps to correct or remove them. If the owners know there is a danger on the property it must be fixed, visitors warned about the danger, or access to the area restricted from visitors. Trespassers do not have quite this same level of protection. In general, property owners won’t be held liable for trespasser injuries, but they also cannot take any actions that may lead to trespasser harm.
- Public Property. The rules governing public property liability are slightly different. Wisconsin has a Safe Place Law, which requires that public property be kept as safe as possible. The law specifies standards for the construction, maintenance, and even the repair of public property. Any violation of the requirements could open the door to a liability lawsuit for the public property owner.
There are many actions that property owners can take to make their properties safer and help prevent slip and fall injuries in winter. These include:
- Paying attention to changing weather conditions.
- Placing rugs near entrances to catch moisture from shoes.
- Adding treads to steps to provide traction.
- Spreading salt in icy areas.
- Using signs to provide warning of wet or possibly slippery areas.
- Inspecting the property and encouraging employees to report hazardous conditions.
- Blocking off access to shortcuts or uncleared areas, so customers don’t try to use them.
Discuss Slip and Fall Injuries and Liability With One of Our Personal Injury Attorneys
Although slip and fall injuries are common this time of year, they may not be due to simply carelessness on your part. It’s possible that another party is responsible for the conditions that led to your accident and injuries. If that is the case, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries to help pay for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages.
The only way to know for certain if you have a slip and fall liability case is to arrange a free consultation with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about such cases. Eisenberg Law Offices attorneys can provide the expertise you need, working to determine how and why the injury happened and if anyone can be held liable for it.
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