Don’t get swept away this holiday season! The end of the year from Halloween until New Year’s Day can be mesmerizing with all the activities and getting caught up in different places to be. During this time of joyful festivities that require much busy running around, it’s important to keep in mind some seasonal hazards to safely staying on your feet and avoiding dangerous slips, trips, and falls.
Rain and other seasonal environmental changes can produce slippery surfaces anywhere we go, from the workplace to the mall. Umbrellas often drip inside where floors can become dangerous. Wet leaves, frost, and puddles seem like obvious things to avoid, yet the rush of the moment often leads people to neglect these obstacles. Even high winds in places such as California can threaten even a healthy, otherwise stable person.
Whether for gifts, supplies, or groceries, shopping during this time of year can be chaotic in a store. Be mindful of debris on the floor, such as common spills, polished or freshly waxed floors, loose flooring, carpeting or mats, even transition from one floor type to another.
Who doesn’t want to enjoy a tasty holiday beverage with friends at this time of year? A restaurant or bar will often be the venue, and for the sake of ambiance many are dimly lit. Spilled drinks, broken glass, even dropped pieces of food can hinder good traction when you have a glass of wine in one hand and a passed appetizer in the other in a darkened room. Of course, alcohol itself (and sometimes being over-served) can play a role in accidents of different sorts.
Hopefully your place of work has rigorous practices in place to ensure safety at all times for everyone. Unfortunately, accidents do happen all the time, and often at work. We may all be in a rush to get out of work during the holidays to get things done and be with our loved ones. It is not worth overlooking something that may become a hazard for someone else or taking on unnecessary risks for yourself.
Common Causes of Falls from Slips or Trips
Though it is possible to sustain a slip and fall injury through your own negligence, most slip and fall cases are due at least in part to negligence on the part of the business. Some of the most common causes of slip and falls include:
- Uneven surfaces, such as a hole or indentation in a concrete floor.
- wet or oily surfaces
- occasional spills
- weather hazards
- loose, unanchored rugs or mats
- flooring or other walking surfaces that don’t have the same degree of traction in all areas
- obstructed view
- poor lighting
- clutter in your way
- wrinkled carpeting
- uncovered cables
- bottom drawers not being closed
- uneven (steps, thresholds) walking surfaces
If you suspect that you or someone you love sustained a slip and fall injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should talk to a lawyer immediately to see if you have a case. Lawsuits for slip and fall injuries have statutes of limitations that vary by state; which means you have a limited time frame in which you can legally file a lawsuit.