Bringing back pumpkin spice, a crisp breeze, and the changing leaves are all cozy reminders that change is in the air. There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Fall. However, seasonal changes that can cause traumatic accidents are not one of them. Although Fall is a magical season that heralds sweater weather and the coming holidays, it is also a time of significant change. Changing weather and ecological patterns can lead to dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. The sun slipping below the horizon before dinner time can also result in hazardous slip-and-fall conditions. The New York City slip and fall lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. want to help you embrace the inevitable changes that come with the beginning of Autumn while offering valuable tips to avoid falling.
Facts About Falls in New York and the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists falls as one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States. At least one in five falls causes a significant injury like a head injury or broken bone, and at least three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for falls annually. Falls are no joke.
Although most people consider the winter months the most dangerous time of the year for falls because of ice and snow, numerous hazards make Fall the perfect time for falls. How can you prevent falls this Fall? Avoid some of these typical Autumn tripping slip and fall hazards.
1. Enjoy the Foliage Not Falls
Mother Nature rings in Autumn with bursts of color. New York is a spectacular area where you can photograph and enjoy Fall foliage. Trees turn vibrant shades of gold, orange, and red. Unfortunately, the colorful show only lasts a few weeks before trees lose their leaves and shed foliage all over the forest floor and New York streets. Leaves, branches, and other tree debris can create slipping and tripping hazards. Wet leaves are particularly hazardous. Leaves and other debris are excellent camouflage, disguising hidden tripping hazards like uneven surfaces, sidewalk cracks, potholes, and steps.
Enjoy the foliage and prevent falls with caution when walking along tree-lined streets. Keep your walkways clean and free from Fall foliage debris by sweeping regularly.
2. Use Caution on Ladders
Fall foliage can also clog gutters. If part of your winterizing plan includes removing leaf build-up from your home or business’s gutters, check your equipment before starting your clean-up project. Ladders should be sturdy and free from defects. Never attempt to use a ladder when conditions are windy, and always properly secure your ladder before climbing up the rungs. The base of the ladder should always sit evenly on the ground. It’s also a good idea to use the buddy system. Allow an individual to remain at the bottom of the ladder, holding it steadily while the other climbs.
3. Be Aware That It Will Get Dark Earlier
The changing seasons also means it’s time to change the clocks. Starting in the Fall, we get shorter days, meaning less direct sunlight overall. If you enjoy a brisk evening walk, you may notice that less daylight means it can feel like you are walking in the middle of the night. You may not notice tripping hazards in your immediate path in the dusk.
If you like to take walks, bring a flashlight or headlamp with you so you can see potential slip-and-fall hazards like road debris, uneven surfaces, and holes. Replace burnt-out bulbs around your home to prevent falls on your driveway and other walkways around your home. Report burnt-out lights to store management to help prevent accidents in store parking lots and entryways.
4. Stay Informed About the Changing Weather Conditions
Fall can be a wet and drizzling time of year. Slippery leaves pose a significant fall risk to individuals, as do ice and frost. Most people associate icy conditions with snow and winter. However, a gentle Fall drizzle can quickly turn to morning ice when evening temperatures tumble.
Don’t wait to get your cold-weather supplies in order. Fall is the right time to stock up on ice-melting chemicals and salt to sprinkle on your home or business’s sidewalks. Keep all walkways clear of ice and light snow. Additionally, ensure all stairs and walkways have sturdy handrails and replace any loose or unstable rails or boards.
5. What to Do If You Slip and Fall on Someone Else’s Property?
Slip and fall accidents can cause devastating physical injuries and leave an individual struggling financially. New York property owners must take reasonable measures to ensure their premises are safe for customers and visitors. When a property owner fails to maintain the safety of their property, an injured individual may seek compensation from the property owner for their financial losses. However, the degree of each person’s involvement in the slip and fall accident can affect the amount of compensation an injured individual can pursue.
A New York slip and fall attorney can evaluate your claim and help you build a strong case demonstrating why the property owner or insurer should compensate you for your injuries. At Finz & Finz, P.C., we thoroughly review your situation and collect vital evidence to prove your claim. Our litigators have the skills and resources to help you pursue the money you deserve.
Fall doesn’t have to mean falls, and you don’t have to suffer for the mistakes of others. Our slip-and-fall attorneys protect your legal rights while helping you navigate the complicated New York legal system. If you are involved in a fall, report the incident to the property manager and document the scene. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Next, contact an experienced New York slip and fall attorney to help you seek maximum compensation.
Enjoy the Season, Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer for Help
Has Fall gotten the best of you? Don’t let the careless actions of a property owner dampen the season. Talk to an experienced New York slip and fall attorney to help recover the compensation you deserve. At Finz & Finz, P.C., we have pursued justice for accident victims for decades. Let us help you. Contact our New York office to arrange a free case evaluation today.