Winter weather brings plenty of hazards, and slip and fall accidents are not the least of them. Although spring brings warmer weather and fewer threats of snow and ice, the threat of slip and fall accidents remains.
Just as ice is a threat for slip and fall accidents, wet spring weather is hazardous too. People tend to become more carefree in spring, but slick surfaces are still a concern even when the temperature is above freezing.
In addition to precipitation, there is also damage left behind by winter weather to consider. This can mean melting snow and ice, potholes, sidewalk cracks, plows that may have left dents in the roadway, and much more.
Flowers and Slip Hazards
When the weather warms back up, the paved surfaces will often be left with potholes, dents, and sidewalk cracks that become holes. This means that paved surfaces are no longer smooth for walking and biking, so people can easily trip up and fall.
Irregular surfaces present more of a problem under bad lighting, which may be an issue for those heading out for an early morning jog or bike ride, or just walking to work or school.
There are many more hazards to consider in spring, even though we don’t have to think about shoveling before we leave for work or school.
A few things to look out for when you leave home:
- Tree roots and weeds: When plant life is growing from underneath a paved surface.
- Garden hoses, pressure washers, painting, and staining projects: The warmer weather means people will be out gardening, cleaning the exterior of their homes, and painting or staining external surfaces like fences, decks, and porches. Many will be running sprinklers in the morning, evening, or both. All of these projects involve liquids that may easily wind up in your path.
- Produce misters: Fresh produce is often displayed in grocery stores and markets with a consistent misting process, which is designed to make the produce look fresher. Like all sources of water, if a mister sprays water onto the floor, is defective, or is used incorrectly, that water may wind up in a puddle that can cause a shopper to slip and fall.
- Amusement parks: Amusement parks are a big lure in the warmer weather for children and adults alike. Amusement parks often have water slides, water rides, pools, and plenty of customers drinking giant fountain sodas. Any of these liquids could wind up creating a hazardous puddle on a walkway.
Preventing Slip and Fall Hazards
For homeowners, property owners, and businesses, there is a “duty of care” under the law, which means that the property and its surroundings should be kept safe for people who will be visiting or passing by. That means that if a person is injured in a slip and fall accident in their property or business, the owner may be held liable for the injuries if they did not clean up any hazards as soon as possible.
Here are a few steps that can be taken by property owners to prevent slip and fall accidents:
- Remove clutter from pathways and walkways.
- Repair any damaged surfaces or materials.
- Repair cracks in the pavement.
- Remove tree roots coming up from under the pavement.
- Add hand-rails near areas that are bound to get slick, such as entryways to pools.
- Add non-slip surfaces near areas that are prone to flooding or puddles.
- Block off areas where there are puddles.
Remember that while there is a duty of care for property owners to keep their walkways safe, there is also a duty for any shoppers or visitors to heed all warnings. Slip and fall hazards do not go away when the weather gets warmer.
Burlington County Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Can Help
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, having an advocate on your side is important. Our Mt. Laurel Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help. With offices in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, the firm serves clients in Burlington and surrounding areas. Set up a free consultation by calling the office at 856-751-2345, or fill out our online form.