When the average person thinks about a slip-and-fall accident, he or she likely conjures images of winter snow and ice. There's no question that unmaintained sidewalks and parking lots pose a serious risk of slipping and falling during the coldest months of the year. People all over New York can end up seeking medical treatment after they slip on a patch of ice outside in the winter. However, frozen precipitation is far from the only cause of a potentially dangerous slip-and-fall incident.
People can slip any time of the year. Regardless of when someone slips and falls, many time this kind of incident leads to claims of premises liability. Anyone who owns a property or makes one accessible to the public must maintain reasonably safe premises.
Failing to do so could make the owner or manager of a property liable for damages that result from injuries. If the cause of the incident was a property owner's or business manager's failure to address a risk factor, then the person who slipped and fell should explore all options for compensation.
There are slip-and-fall risks in every season
When the snow and ice begin melting in the early spring, all of that runoff can create a slippery situation. Mud and standing water can each create risk for a potential slip. Indoor spaces rarely fare better. Rain, meltwater and mud tracked inside by patrons and employees can make floors dangerously slippery, leading to a potential fall.
In the summer, additional risks could include leaks from air conditioning or refrigeration units. In the autumn months, piles of leaves both wet and dry could create a slipping or tripping hazard. Some risks simply know no season, like spilled beverages, overly polished floors, leaks or drips from fixtures, walls or roofs, and even uneven surfaces in a building, or in a section of sidewalk.
Slip-and-fall incidents can lead to serious injury
Regardless of what season it is, a slip-and-fall can leave you with serious injuries. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head/brain injuries can all be results of an unexpected slip-and-fall. Some people attempt to brace themselves or grab something for support. Falling onto an arm or flailing your arms and striking something as you fall could easily result in broken bones or painful soft tissue damage.
If you can't catch yourself, instead of a broken arm, you could risk hitting your head on the floor. That, in turn, could result in a traumatic brain injury. The injuries that result from a slip-and-fall can require emergency medical care and can even leave someone unable to return to work for days or weeks. Thankfully, New York law makes it clear that people who get hurt on someone else's property may have rights to compensation if the owner's negligence contributed to the injuries.