Though the winter months are drawing to a close, cold weather continues to batter many parts of the country, including New Jersey. Though you may find yourself out and about less these days due to current events, safety should still remain at the forefront of your mind whenever you do have to get out. This includes paying attention to your surroundings when walking on wet, icy or snowy surfaces.
An icy slip could happen to anyone, and you likely do your best to ensure that your walkways and other areas around your home are free from ice as much as possible. Store owners and operators have an obligation to ensure that their premises do not present any unnecessary hazards to patrons as well.
What risks could you face?
Several factors could contribute to a slip-and-fall accident that causes you serious injury. In the winter months, the following issues could be likely:
- Frozen puddles in parking lots
- Icy sidewalks from water dripping off of roofs or other structures and refreezing on the ground
- Wet floors inside buildings that result from patrons bringing in water or snow on their shoes
Property owners could prevent these issues by ensuring that roofs and other structures have proper drainage to prevent water overflow onto walkways that could then freeze. They could also ensure that their parking area does not have an uneven slope that could contribute to excess puddle formation. Additionally, store owners and operators can place mats inside doorways for patrons to wipe their feet, and they can clean up any wet floors as soon as possible.
In addition to winter-related slip-and-fall risks, certain hazards could present themselves at any time of the year. They could be particularly hazardous during the winter months as well. Some of those issues include:
- Uneven, cracked or otherwise damaged sidewalks
- Poor lighting outside, in stairwells and other areas in and around the property
- Poorly maintained parking lots that have holes or other hazards
If you suffer injuries on someone else’s property due to hazardous property conditions, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for damages. Slip-and-fall accidents are not always straightforward when it comes to who could hold liability for damages, but gaining information on your specific incident could help you determine whether your ordeal may warrant legal action.