Slip and fall accidents account for millions of emergency room visits every year and cost millions more in medical expenses, lost income and rehabilitation. Home and business owners can be held liable for dangerous conditions that cause slip and fall injuries – especially when they fail to take necessary precautions. Here’s some tips on how you can prevent them from occurring on your property on the outside and the inside.

Creating a Slip & Fall Free Zone

That’s what every home and business owner should strive to achieve. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, owners seeking to create a slip and fall free zone should begin from the outside and work their way in – especially in the winter months when colder temperatures increase the likelihood of ice and snow.

  • Addressing the outside. Being aware of the temperature outside allows you to take precautionary measures that could avoid a slip and fall accident. Some of the most common reasons for outside slip and falls involve:
    • Ice or snow
    • Uneven pavement or gravel
    • Cracks in sidewalks or flooring
    • Stairs that are too steep, that have broken handrails or that have narrow treads
    • Debris or foreign objects in walkways
    • Potholes
    • Curbs
    • Dips or rises in the height of the floor or ground (such as a small step down)

While it’s important to make sure to fix anything that’s broken and remove anything that could cause someone to slip or trip, it’s also important to make sure to sand or salt outdoor steps, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots that may have collected ice – especially when the temperature is below or hovering around 32 degrees.

Remember that black-top paved surfaces often don’t show icy conditions – and what people don’t see can often cause a fall. In fact, experts say that one of the best tips to prevent slip and falls accidents is lighting. Although it may sound overly simple, if people can see the dangers that may be lurking, they’ll be better able to avoid them.

  • Addressing the inside. The most important aspect of avoiding slips and falls indoors is floor maintenance.  Some of the most common reasons for inside slip and falls involve:
    • Slippery or slick floors
    • Debris or foreign objects in walkways
    • Carpeting that has become uneven or isn’t lying flat on a floor
    • Changes in flooring surface (from tile to carpet)

Snow and ice that melt in entry ways can be the worst culprits. Always make sure these areas are kept dry, and put up caution signs if your entryway is made of a particularly slippery surface, such as marble. Obviously, the more people you have coming to your home or business means having to take better precautions, such as keeping extra dry floor mats and a mop nearby.

Taking the necessary precautions, whether outside or in, can help reduce the risks of slip and fall accidents.  However, rest assured that they’ll still happen. When they do, injured victims may suffer serious injuries.

Slip & Fall Accidents Can Have Serious Consequences

Premises liability accidents can have serious consequences. Some of the most common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:

  • Bone and hip fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck, shoulder and back injuries
  • Knee injuries

These can result in significant hospital bills, medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation and more. Make sure that you do everything possible to avoid slip and fall injuries on your property, understand how slip and fall lawsuits work and seek the counsel of an experienced premises liability attorney if you’ve been injured on someone’s property or they’ve been injured on yours.