October 20, 2022
What Are Common Slip and Fall Injuries in Autumn?
The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting darker, which are good signs that the autumn season is upon us. With the beautiful scenery, especially here in southeastern Pennsylvania, it may be surprising to some to know that autumn does not come without its hazards. While many associate slip and fall accidents with winter hazards, autumn also has similar conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a million people every year suffer a slip and fall injury. Although they may at first seem like minor inconveniences, most slips and falls can actually lead to severe pain and injury. They are expensive as well, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
From wet leaves to icy mornings, there are many things to watch out for in the fall. Some slip and fall injuries can lead to serious injuries such as:
- Bone bruises
- Broken bones or fractures
- Cuts and abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sprains or strains
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Whiplash injuries
Who is Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries?
Simply dismissing your slip and fall injury to clumsiness may be a mistake. Businesses and property owners have a duty of care to visitors on their property to be safe and free from hazards. Wet floors, icy sidewalks, or loose carpeting can all lead to a slip and fall accident. However, it must be proven that:
- The property owner had prior knowledge of the hazard that caused your injury.
- The dangerous condition led to your injury.
- The property owner had a duty of care for your safety, otherwise meaning that you were not a trespasser.
- The property owner had been given a reasonable time to address the issue.
If you have been injured by such conditions, whether it was on private or public property, you may be able to hold the property owner liable. You must hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer to protect your rights and help your case see a positive outcome.
What Causes Slip and Fall Injuries?
There is no question that you and your family’s safety is a priority all-year round. But there are many hazards to be aware of during the autumn season that are different than other seasons:
- Leaves: Wet leaves are common during the fall, covering the ground and walkways, making it difficult to see what exactly you might trip over. When leaves are wet, they can be quite slippery, causing you to slip and fall. They also fill holes and dents, which can also be a tripping hazard. Some compare wet leaves to black ice, which is also common during the fall season. Be sure to always have your walkways and the sidewalk clear of leaves whenever they start falling on the ground to keep yourself and others safe.
- Daylight: The days become shorter during the fall season, which means reduced visibility. Even when it does get dark, some residences and businesses may not be prepared, leading to insufficient lighting in parking lots or sidewalks. When you cannot see where you are walking, or what you are walking over, you can easily get injured from a slip and fall. The sun goes rises and sets in the fall during the busiest times of the day, which can also hinder one’s ability to see. If you are a homeowner, make sure you regularly rake the leaves away from the sidewalks and walkways, and make sure you have sufficient lighting in walking areas all day long.
- Rain: The fall season is also hurricane season in some parts of the country, and those hurricanes come up the coast to the northeast. This leads to wet conditions, and when it turns cold it can also lead to icy conditions, both on the roadway and the sidewalk. The cold rain turns cracks into potholes, and irregularities in the pavement into puddles that hide tripping hazards. Homeowners should always use snowmelt or rock salt whenever it becomes icy out.
How to Start a Slip and Fall Claim?
A slip and fall claim can be a confusing endeavor, but it does not have to be. Here are a few steps to take should you ever suffer a slip and fall injury:
- Report the accident: As soon as the accident happens, you want to notify the owner of the business or residence as soon as possible. If it is a business, it should be the highest-ranking person there, like the manager on duty. If it was public property, notify the city or town within the day if possible. Waiting too long to report the accident may bring questions of legitimacy, which will likely hinder your claim.
- Obtain evidence: Take pictures immediately following the accident; get photos of the scene and with many angles, as well as your injury, and if there are security cameras. Talk to any witnesses and get their information.
- Get medical treatment: Make sure to get medical assistance following the accident. If taking you to the hospital or urgent care is offered by the business, take the offer, and get checked out. Let the doctor or provider know what happened exactly and they will document it for your records and be sure to follow through with whatever treatment plan they suggest. Do not miss your medical appointments, either, as missing them or showing a pattern of missing them will cause the jury or insurance company to assume your injury is not serious.
- Insurance company: Find out the insurance company of the business where your accident took place and be sure to file a claim with them. They may ask you to provide a recorded statement but decline to do so and do not give them a statement unless you have talked to a slip and fall lawyer first.
The Montgomery County Slip and Fall Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Help Accident Victims Obtain Compensation
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the Montgomery County slip and fall lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. right away. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 267-861-7100 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve all clients of Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.