Autumn weather brings cooler temperatures, steady breezes, and the beauty of changing foliage. It also brings rain, piled up leaves, frosty mornings, and sometimes even snow. As you enjoy the autumn season this year, don’t forget to be mindful of hazards that can cause slip and fall accidents – especially in public places.
Here are some tips for avoiding slip and fall accidents this autumn, brought to you by an Atlanta premises liability lawyer:
Beware of Slippery Surfaces
Falling leaves are beautiful and children have a blast running through piles of leaves. But those leaf piles can be a potential hazard if you aren’t careful. Piled up leaves can hide hazards like potholes, broken sidewalks, standing water, or ice. Wet and cold weather can also make leaves slippery, which is a definite fall hazard, especially on stairs or ramps.
Stay in the Light
With leaves covering the ground, it can be difficult to see where you’re going. This is an even greater hazard if lighting is poor. When walking or jogging, especially after dark, but also during daybreak and dusk, stay in well lit areas.
Wear Proper Footwear
As much as you may love those fancy footwear, not all footwear is autumn-weather appropriate. Wearing shoes with high heels or smooth soles can be dangerous if the ground is covered in leaves, or if it is wet or frosty. Wearing shoes that are comfortable, warm, and fit well can help you reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident.
Take Your Time
One of the most significant hazards when sidewalks are obscured, wet, or icy is being in a hurry. The faster you walk, the more likely you are to slip, trip, or fall. Also, if you are in a hurry, you may be distracted, which can prevent you from seeing hazards and taking action before disaster strikes.
Speaking of distractions, if you are walking, jogging, or even moving about in a retail store or mall, avoid distractions. Distractions like a phone call, text, or email can take your attention away from where you are walking and what is in front of you. This is dangerous on a sidewalk or inside a store, on stairs or ramps, in parking lots or at a park.
What to Do if You Are in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you do find yourself in a slip and fall accident situation, there are a few things to remember. First, if the accident is due to the property owner’s negligence – such as not de-icing a sidewalk or removing leaves from a dangerous parking lot – you may have grounds to file a claim against him or her.
Second, you should never give in to the temptation to brush your accident off as something silly. Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of accidental injuries. Many people do not immediately realize that they are injured. Others brush off their pain because they are embarrassed or don’t want to cause a scene.
You should always get medical attention after a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. Tell your doctor what happened, and document the details – time, place, and the scenario. You will need this information if you file an insurance claim or a premises liability claim.
Third, speak with an Atlanta premises liability lawyer about your legal rights and options. If you have a slip and fall case, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses and other costs.