Christmas allows you to enjoy great food, time with family and friends, shopping and just being in a festive mood. But, Christmas can also bring bad weather. Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or a bright sunny day, this is the time to be cautious. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for approximately eight million emergency room visits per year. You are at a significantly higher risk of becoming a victim of a slip and fall accident when the weather leaves sidewalks and parking lots slick. If you host a party, you will want to keep your guests safe and reduce the risk of a slip and fall.
Stay Safe When Out And About
The Christmas season might have you in the mood to go shopping and travel more than you normally would. While this is a fun time, it is also a time when you need to be careful. The weather can leave walkways, steps, and parking lots slick. This could lead to a slip and fall accident that will leave you feeling less than great for the holidays.
- You will, no doubt, be doing your share of shopping for Christmas. This means you’re going to be doing a lot of walking inside and outside. Take special care if you notice ice or snow in parking lots and on walkways. Try to stick to areas that have been cleaned and cleared of ice and snow.
- When you visit a shopping mall or other store, be on the lookout for wet floors. The cleaning department of these places can’t slow down because it is the holidays. If anything, they are even busier, constantly cleaning the floors, which means the floors will be wet because of constant mopping to keep them clean. Pay attention to the caution signs when you see them. If you can, avoid wet areas altogether.
- Be aware of carpets and rugs that may get bunched up or placed haphazardly. Such carpets and rugs can be a trip hazard. Often, these will be directly inside the store’s door. Be sure to wipe your feet to get your shoes dry before continuing. If you step onto the hard floor with wet shoes, this could cause you to slip and fall.
Be A Great Host And Keep Your Guests Safe
It is only natural to want to host a Christmas party to celebrate such a festive holiday. Whether you own a business and want to give your workers a great party or you are hosting a party for friends and family at your home, there are a few things to keep in mind so that your guests will be safe when attending your party.
- Practice outdoor maintenance. If the time for your party is nearing and you’ve recently had some snowy weather, this is when you want to inspect your property for slick spots. Depending on how much snow there is, you might need to shovel snow to clear a safe path for your guests. Ensure that your driveway or parking lot is cleared of snow and ice. You may be required to hire someone to plow the snow if there is a large amount.
- Clear building entrances, including sidewalks and steps, of any ice or snow. It’s a great idea to throw some salt down on these areas so the snow and ice will melt. Keep extra salt on hand that can be used on wet areas to prevent them from freezing during the frigid nights.
- Ensure outside areas are well-lit. People will have a harder time walking if they cannot see. Proper lighting will help your guests avoid any potential hazards when they are walking on your property.
- Make sure rugs or carpets are placed correctly and are not creating a trip hazard. You might even want to remove some rugs if you have any concern at all that someone might trip and fall.
- Be aware of wet areas on your floor. This is especially important if the weather outside is messy. People will carry snow and ice inside which will melt and leave the floor wet. This is a great reason to have a rug just inside the entrance so your guests can wipe their shoes instead of tracking a wet mess across the floor.
- Don’t serve too much alcohol to your guests. You don’t want your guests becoming impaired by alcohol because this can cause them to lose their balance and fall. You don’t want to be liable if someone falls on your property because you allowed them to have too much alcohol.
- As the host, watch your own alcohol intake. You will want to be alert and level-headed if an emergency situation arises.
What To Do If Someone Has An Accident On Your Property
There may be instances where someone suffers a fall while on your property. This can happen even if you are vigilant about removing all hazards that could lead to such an accident. If a guest does slip and fall on your property, don’t panic. First, ensure that the person receives any medical attention needed. Once the individual is safe, determine if you were negligent. For instance, if you spill water on the floor and fail to wipe it up, and your guest comes along and slips and falls, this might be considered negligence where you’re at fault. If you believe you were negligent, this is the time to seek expert legal advice from an experienced slip and fall attorney. These cases are often complex and will be difficult to fight on your own.
What To Do If You Suffer A Slip And Fall Accident
No matter how vigilant one is, there is always a possibility of suffering from a slip and fall accident. There may be black ice that was impossible to see that caused you to slip and fall. There may be uneven stairs or cracked sidewalks that can cause you to fall. Loose carpets and rugs are also a hazard that you might not notice until it is too late. No matter the cause, if you have suffered a slip and fall accident, you should:
- Take pictures of the area where you fell. Be sure to get pictures of anything that may have caused your fall.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Your injury could be mild or severe and you may not know the extent of your injuries until you see a doctor.
- Take pictures of any bruising or marks you have as a result of the fall.
- Notify the homeowner or business owner that you have been injured on their property.
- Contact an experienced attorney who is familiar with slip and fall claims. These cases can be difficult and you will need expert legal advice to proceed with your claim.
It is crucial for property owners, as well as visitors, to be aware of all the potential dangers that can cause a slip and fall accident. This is especially true around the holidays because the weather is so unpredictable at this time of year. One day can be dry and clear, while the next day can be snowy and wet. Always be aware of your surroundings and walk cautiously. If you own property, make sure you clear it of any slip and fall hazards, including outdoors and indoors. Christmas is the perfect time for enjoying the company of family and friends, celebrating and having fun. The last thing you want to deal with is a painful slip and fall injury that will leave you grounded for the holidays. Don’t miss out on the fun. Be careful and watch your step.