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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Holiday Slip & Fall Accidents


As we find ourselves amidst the holiday season, it's essential to be aware of the perils that come along with the joy and cheer. One such danger is slip and fall accidents, which tend to be more common during this time of year due to a variety of factors. This article sheds light on these hazards, the risks they pose, and how to prevent such incidents.

‘Tis the Season to Avoid Slip & Fall Hazards

During the holiday season, wet floors, icy sidewalks, and cluttered surfaces become more prevalent. Weather changes can make outdoor surfaces slippery, and indoor areas can also become dangerous due to people tracking in snow and ice. Furthermore, holiday decorations and crowded stores increase the risk of tripping over objects, leading to potential injuries.

Residential spaces are not immune to these hazards. Busy kitchens can have spills, and congested living areas from decorations or toys can create tripping hazards. Commercial properties, such as retail outlets, restaurants, and malls, face increased footfall during the holidays, making them prime spots for slip-and-fall accidents.

Holiday Slip & Fall Accidents Are Preventable

Preventing slip and fall accidents requires vigilance and proactive measures. Here are some tips to ensure safety during the holiday season:

  • Light up your space. Ensure all areas, especially walkways, are well-lit. Replace any burnt-out bulbs promptly.
  • Maintain and clean walking surfaces. Regularly check and clean both indoor and outdoor walking surfaces. Remove snow and ice promptly from sidewalks, driveways, and entrances. Inside, promptly clean up any spills and make sure that walkways are free of clutter.
  • Stay steady. Walk slowly and deliberately, especially on slippery surfaces. Hold onto railings when using stairs.
  • Wear proper footwear. Shoes with good traction can help prevent slips and falls on icy or wet surfaces.

Businesses and homeowners can take extra steps to prevent accidents:

  • Clear clutter immediately. Keep walkways free from decorations, cords, and other tripping hazards.
  • Use non-slip mats. Place these at all entrances and other high-traffic areas.
  • Use proper signage to warn of hazards. Businesses should use signs to warn of wet floors or other hazards.

The Risks

Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, including fractures, sprains, concussions, and even spinal cord injuries. These incidents can result in hefty medical bills, loss of wages from time off work, and a significant impact on the quality of life.

Establishing Fault in Holiday Slip & Fall Accidents

Determining liability involves understanding who had a duty to maintain a safe environment and whether they breached that duty. Here are the parties that could potentially be held liable:

  • Government entities. If a slip and fall accident occurs on public property, such as a city sidewalk or public park, the government entity responsible for maintaining that area may be held liable.
  • Property owners. Homeowners, landlords, and business owners have a responsibility to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. If someone slips and falls due to a hazardous condition that the owner knew about (or should have known about), the owner could be held liable.
  • Third parties. In some cases, another party, such as a contractor responsible for snow removal or a company that installed faulty flooring, may be held liable.

Types of Evidence Used to Determine Fault

To establish fault in a slip-and-fall case, you'll need to gather evidence that proves negligence on the part of the liable party. This could include:

  • Witness statements. If anyone saw your fall, their account of what happened can help substantiate your claim.
  • Photographs or videos. Visual evidence of the hazardous condition can be highly valuable. If possible, take photos or videos of the area where you fell immediately after the accident.
  • Medical records. These can prove the extent of your injuries and link them directly to the fall.
  • Accident reports. If your fall happened in a store or other business, there might be an incident report. Be sure to obtain a copy.

Experienced Premises Liability Attorney

Remember, every slip and fall case is unique, and this guide offers general advice. For specific cases, it's always best to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and the best course of action.

Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law offers clients tailored counsel and solutions. Should you or a loved one be injured due to negligent conditions on a residential or commercial property, we are here and equipped to help.

To schedule an initial consultation, call (505) 219-2176.