Weather-Related Slip and Falls: Who Is Legally Liable?
By Saunders Law Group on February 06, 2018
Whenever it rains, the risks of serious injuries goes up. Car accidents are more likely due to issues with vehicle control and visibility, for instance. The same is true of slip and fall accidents, which can occur indoors and outdoors during poor weather situations. Injury victims or their loved ones in the Bartow, FL area can meet with our lawyers to see if they have a premises liability case.
The team at Saunders Law Firm would like to consider the different ways that rain and bad weather increases the risk of slips and falls. We’ll also discuss simple ways that owners of establishments can protect customers and visitors. Failure to take these steps can be signs of legal liability in case of an injury.
Slips and Falls at Entrances/Exits
When it rains, people are likely to bring moisture from outside into a business. Rainwater on shoes will wind up on floors, and any dripping moister from clothes can result in slippery surfaces. A lot of this moisture will accumulate at the entrances or exits of a premises.
Preventing Slipping Accidents at Entrances/Exits
To prevent slip and falls at entryways, it’s important that businesses have absorbent mats to soak up the moisture from shoes and clothes. Textured tiles near an entrance can also be helpful when mats are not yet out on the floor. Anything that helps provide traction and prevents slippery surfaces is ideal.
Issues with Dripping Umbrellas
Umbrellas from outside cause a great deal of trouble. Even when a person does their best to shake out their umbrella before entering, the umbrella is bound to drip some moisture on the ground. This can lead to slippery floors, accidental falls, and injuries.
Umbrella Bags and Umbrella Baskets
For some businesses, it’s a good idea to have umbrella bags and/or umbrella baskets present. Umbrella bags will help keep an umbrella from dripping onto the floor. Similarly, umbrella baskets will keep any rainwater from umbrellas restricted to an area that's well away from normal foot traffic.
Losing Balance Near Ledges or on Stairs
If there are any outdoor areas at a given premises, rain can lead to major hazards when people walk near ledges or on stairs. Slipping at a ledge of a structure can result in catastrophic or even fatal falls. Falls down exposed stairs due to rain can also occur.
Protecting People from Severe Falls
If there is a ledge at your premises, it’s important that there are guardrails to prevent people from falling right over the edge. Textured surfaces near any ledges can also help with traction. For outdoor stairs, bannisters are crucial for balance, and textured steps can help improve a person’s footing in poor weather.
Moisture Throughout the Premises
Even if a business takes all precautions necessary at entrances, there is still a risk of rainwater being tracked into the store. Even just a few drops of water on some linoleum can increase the risk of slipping and serious injuries.
Taking Care of Slipping Hazards Thought the Premises
During poor weather, it’s important to have an employee dry mop any potentially slippery surfaces. The dry mop will absorb stray water in the area and keep the floor free from slipping hazards. Placing wet floor signs in case of a ceiling leak or major spills can also help protect people from harm.
Learn More About Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuits
For more information about your legal rights and options in slip and fall accidents, be sure to contact a skilled premises liability lawyer. The team at Saunders Law Firm is here to help you in your time of legal need.
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