We are transitioning from winter to spring and in the Pacific Northwest that means many days with wet roads and sidewalks. Wet surfaces are often slippery, which can dramatically increase the risk for a slip and fall accident. Simple preventative measures by walkers and property owners can help reduce the chances of a serious slip and fall injury.
Every year, thousands of Americans are the victim of a slip and fall accident, often through no fault of their own. When a fall and subsequent injury happens because of the negligence of another, the best thing to do is contact a slip and fall attorney to discuss your legal rights. For example, if you walked into a store with sopping wet floors that had no sign warning about the slippery surface, you may have a slip and fall claim. Your attorney will go over the details of your accident and let you know the best way to proceed.
Risk factors for slip and fall accidents
Slips and fall accidents happen more often in rainy or icy weather, when it is dark, on uneven surfaces, or when there is loose carpet or exposed cords or other debris left on the floor. The risk of a slip and fall also increases when we are in a hurry or not paying attention to our surroundings. Walking on unfamiliar terrain doesn’t help. In addition to these risk factors, is the age factor.
National Flooring Safety Institute data reveals that older adults are at the highest risk for falling. Sadly, we lose thousands of people over the age of 65 years each year from slip and falls. The reality is that the risk of falling increases significantly with every decade we age.
Duty of care owed by property owners
Property owners are legally obligated to provide “reasonable care and maintenance” of their property to ensure that it is safe from dangerous conditions. Put another way, property owners owe a duty to repair and fix known dangers in a reasonable time frame and to warn people of dangers before they are fixed, if possible.
If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident because a property owner breached their duty of care for reasonable care and maintenance, contact a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights.
Avoid slip & fall accidents in wet weather
These safety tips can help you avoid a preventable accident:
• Try to avoid walking on unlit streets or walkways when it is dark outside (or bring a flashlight)• Use handrails when taking stairs or escalators• If you are unsteady on your feet, always wear comfortable slip resistant shoes• Pay attention to your surroundings and always slow down if you see a “wet floor” sign• Use the elevator or a cart if carrying a large package that obstructs your vision• Avoid walking and talking or texting on your cell phone• Wipe your feet on a mat before entering a building during wet weather• Keep your wet umbrella out of the walkway
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!