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Slip-and-fall accidents can happen to anyone, in any season

Many people associate slip-and-fall accidents and injuries with the winter. That makes a lot of sense. It can be difficult for businesses and property owners to keep up with Mother Nature when she's dumping snow or spreading ice across the city.

Failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks or accumulated puddles in foyers and entranceways can result in serious slip-and-fall accidents and injuries. Of course, that doesn't mean that slip-and-fall accidents only happen in the winter. Slip-and-fall accidents can happen at any time of the year and in any kind of weather, even during a drought.

Equal-opportunity accidents

After all, it's not like your shoes only lose grip on the floor when there's precipitation. A spilled coffee could have the same end result as a hail storm. There are also plumbing leaks or roof leaks that could suddenly create a puddle in a high-traffic area. Even the over-application of wax during a floor polishing session could place people at risk of a slip-and-fall accident.

It is the duty of the people who manage or operate any public facility, whether it's a grocery store or a subway platform, to keep the premises safe, clean and easily accessible. Failing to do so can result in premises liability.

Understanding premises liability and slip-and-falls

Premises liability is basically the legal and financial liability that property owners and managers incur when they allow the public into a space. Typically, injuries that occur on-site can become the responsibility of the business. If there was any way that the property owner could have prevented the accident, it's likely that there is premises liability involved. Could the leak have been repaired or spilled liquid cleaned?

When it comes to premises liability, both reasonableness and carelessness factor into who is responsible. You should consider how likely it is that someone else could have gotten injured in the same situation.

Determining liability

Did you do something irresponsible or unusual that lead to the slip-and-fall, or were you just walking normally? If you were running or under the influence of alcohol, you could share some responsibility for the accident. In many cases, however, it's clear that a failure of maintenance or cleanliness was directly involved in the slip-and-fall accident.

Roughly a million people end up in emergency rooms every year due to slip-and-fall injuries. While some people walk away with nothing more than bruises and scrapes, broken bones, spinal injuries and even brain injuries can occur.

A slip-and-fall accident could result in lost wages, massive medical bills and even permanent disability or death. You should absolutely seek medical care after a slip-and-fall, especially if you hit your head or lost consciousness for even a second. You should also make sure that the accident was reported to the business owner or manager.

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