1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Blog
  4.  | Slip-and-fall accident risks rise as winter weather sets in

Slip-and-fall accident risks rise as winter weather sets in

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Blog, Injuries, Premises Liability

Property and business owners are potentially liable for slip-and-fall accidents. Their responsibility lies in maintaining safe premises, promptly addressing hazardous conditions like snow and ice and taking preventive measures.

Neglecting these responsibilities may result in legal liability for injuries sustained by individuals on their property.

Responsibility of business and property owners

Property and business owners bear the responsibility of maintaining safe premises, especially during winter. This includes clearing walkways, driveways and parking lots of snow and ice promptly.

People entering stores from snowy parking lots usually have excess moisture on their shoes, which often transfers to store floors. Business owners should place moisture-absorbing mats, mop these areas regularly and prominently place cones or warning signs.

Ongoing storm rule

Ongoing winter storms present a continual challenge for property owners. The accumulation of snow and ice demands consistent efforts to ensure that outdoor areas remain safe for pedestrians.

In New Jersey, the ongoing storm rule acknowledges the difficulty property owners face during continuous winter storms. This legal principle recognizes that immediate snow and ice removal may be impossible. As a result, property owners may not be liable for slip-and-fall accidents until a reasonable time after the storm stops.

Tips to avoid slip-and-fall accidents

Choose footwear with slip-resistant soles to enhance traction on slippery surfaces. Adopting shorter steps can help maintain balance on icy or snowy pathways.

Pay attention to the ground conditions and potential hazards, especially in areas with poor lighting. Use handrails for added stability while navigating stairs or inclined surfaces when available.

Check weather forecasts and plan your outings to avoid going out during severe winter weather. Inform property owners or relevant authorities if you notice unsafe conditions, such as uncleared walkways.

Common injuries resulting from slip-and-fall accidents

As winter blankets New Jersey with snow and ice, the risk of slip-and-fall accidents surges. Pedestrians have no protection when they fall, and they can sustain serious injuries.

The impact of a fall on icy or slippery surfaces can lead to fractures or sprains, particularly in the wrists, arms or legs.

Slip-and-fall accidents may result in back injuries, ranging from minor strains to more severe issues affecting the spine.

Falls can lead to head injuries, including concussions, which require prompt medical attention.

Impact with hard surfaces during a fall can cause bruises and contusions, contributing to pain and discomfort.

Those injured may qualify to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other fall-related costs.

Take precautions

Property owners must fulfill their responsibilities in clearing snow and ice, while individuals can take preventive measures. As winter storms persist, these precautions become increasingly necessary to minimize the risks of slip-and-fall incidents.