With people enjoying the outdoors so much during the summer months, slip-and-fall accidents increase proportionately. With damages from this type of personal injury accident resulting in more than 8 million visits to the emergency annually at a cost of $15 million, it may be time to remember to stay focused on your surroundings.
Common causes of summertime slip-and-fall accidents
Here are some common causes of summertime slip-and-fall accidents.
- Summer storms: We usually think of slip-and-fall accidents occurring in the winter from ice and snow; however summertime weather can be just as much of a factor for these types of accidents as wintertime. Pop-up showers in the summer can be powerful and create hazards in parking lots, office and store lobbies, stairways, and on other private, public and commercial properties.
- Swimming pools: Swimming pools, both private and public, can be fun yet potentially dangerous. Slick surfaces abound making it a danger for a slip-and-fall accident. These types of accidents also occur when people trip over toys, balls and other items on hard, wet concrete.
- Boating: Boating is a favorite summer pastime for many Arkansans; however docks and motor boats often have slick surfaces that can become especially dangerous due to not only water, but the spray, dirt and slime brought on board when a fish is caught. (Protect yourself and others and install a non-skid surface in your boat.) Also be sure not to go beyond your boat’s safe carrying capacity to prevent a fall on your boat if it becomes too crowded.
- Crowds: Wherever there is a large gathering of people outdoors, a slip-and-fall accident is a possibility. Summertime festivals, concerts and eating outdoors can get the ground pretty mucky. Beware of food and drink spills as well as any other discarded debris when walking around in such venues.
Injuries from slip-and-fall accidents can range from a bruise to something more severe. A sudden fall on a hard slick surface can lead to painful injuries, including sprains and strains, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and even paralysis. Those most at risk are small children and the elderly.
Legal issues involved in a slip-and-fall personal injury accident
In Arkansas, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care towards their visitors and patrons. They are responsible for taking reasonable steps to inspect their property, identify hazards and either fix or warn visitors of any problems. The law does allow a property owner to have a reasonable amount of time to address the hazard.
As far as the victim of a slip-and-fall accident goes, it is not always so easy to pin the responsibility on the owner of a premises. If a slip-and-fall accident occurs when the person hurt should have been aware of an obvious danger, it may not be a claim that will be paid. You must have evidence showing proof of negligence on the part of the business or property owner.
Factors that an insurance company or jury will consider in a slip-and-fall case include the following:
- How long did the hazard exist before you fell?
- Should the property owner (public or private) have been aware of the hazard and remedied it before your accident?
- Did the property owner knowingly or unknowingly create a hazard?
- How long was the hazard present?
- Was there enough time for the property owner to be advised of the hazard, and to take measures to remedy the danger?
- Was there a protocol in place within a business for monitoring hazards?
- Were the customer’s or visitor’s injuries due to his or her own inattentiveness?
If you’ve been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, slip-and-fall accidents can be complex, and it would be in your best interests to contact an experienced slip-and-fall attorney.
Give me a call to set up a free consultation to discuss your case at 501-374-6300. If we determine that you have a viable case, my staff and I will work hard to win or resolve your claim.
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For other areas of personal injury law, please see my other articles at http://blog.petermillerlaw.com
If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.
The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
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