Preventing a Slip and Fall Accident in the Winter

How to Avoid a Slip and Fall Injury in Winter

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on February 8, 2019 in Personal Injury

walking up a staircase in the snowSlip and fall injuries can happen at any time of the year, but there is a particularly high risk during the winter months because of the presence of snow and ice. There are many precautions you can take to reduce your risk of a slip and fall accident from snow or ice.

If you are injured in this type of accident and you think another party is at fault, an experienced Milwaukee slip and fall attorney from PKSD can help. Our experienced legal team can help you determine why the accident happened and if the owner of the property can be held legally responsible for your medical injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Preventing a Fall Accident

Businesses and property owners can take steps to make their premises safer from winter slips and falls. Some preventative measures include:

  • Watching for changing weather conditions
  • Leaving rugs near entrances so people can wipe their feet off
  • Spreading salt on ice
  • Telling guests to be particularly careful around tile or concrete floors
  • Encouraging employees to report hazardous areas to the supervisor or property manager
  • Blocking off shortcuts so that customers use cleared paths

There are also a variety of steps you can take to help prevent a slip and fall in icy or snowy conditions this winter:

  • Step down from a curb and not outward
  • Step down when you are getting out of a vehicle
  • Avoid taking shortcuts and walk on marked paths
  • Take slow, short, flat-footed steps on the ice
  • Whenever possible, avoid carrying large loads or talking on your cellphone while you are walking
  • Avoid wearing smooth-soled shoes

When Could the Property Owner Be Held Liable?

Property owners can only be held legally liable for injuries that are the result of their negligence. Visitors who were not being cautious with ice or snow may have a hard time proving their injuries were the result of the property owner’s negligence.

One of the factors that may go into determining if negligence occurred is whether the accident occurred on public or private property. In Wisconsin, there is a distinction between private property and public property and when liability exists.

Private Property

The responsibility of private property owners is different depending on the status of the visitor on the property. Private property owners must use ordinary care in managing their property so that they do not subject visitors or guests to an unreasonable risk of harm. They have a legal duty to look for hazards on their property and to cure them. If the private property owner knows of a danger on the property, he or she must fix it or warn visitors of it.

If the person on the property is a trespasser, the property owner’s obligation is much lower. Property owners will generally not be held liable for injuries to trespassers. The property owner owes due care once he or she is aware of a trespasser. This means the property owner cannot do anything that is likely to lead to the trespasser’s injury.

Public Property

Government property and other public property has different rules than private property. Wisconsin’s Safe Place Law requires owners and employers to keep the property as safe as conditions allow. The law sets standards for the construction, maintenance and repair of public property.

Contact a Compassionate Attorney for Legal Assistance

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the attorneys at PKSD may be able to help. We can review your claim during a free consultation. At this meeting, we can review the details of your case and assess the potential value of your claim. We can also discuss your legal options.

We charge no upfront fees and are only paid for our work if we help you recover compensation on your claim, so there is no risk to contacting us today to learn about your rights.

Call us right now at 877-877-2228.

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