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What Albany residents need to know about winter slip-and-falls

Slip-and-falls can occur at any point throughout the year in the Albany area. A spring rainstorm might lead to wet floors at a local church and someone getting hurt on their way to service. Leaves tracked in from outside might trigger an autumn slip-and-fall.

However, there are unique safety hazards during the winter months that are impossible for Albany residents to ignore. The freezing precipitation that falls during the coldest season creates a number of slip-and-fall concerns for those out on the city streets or patronizing local businesses.

What do people need to know about slip-and-fall risks?

Slip-and-falls can be serious

Contrary to media representation, slip-and-falls are no laughing matter. Over a million people every year end up at emergency rooms because they fall after slipping. Many of those falls occur during the winter months. Same-level falls can cause brain injuries, broken bones and soft tissue injuries. The people who fall may have medical bills and possibly even lost wages because of the incident.

Slip-and-falls indoors are common

Winter weather comes with several slip-and-fall concerns for interior spaces. Obviously, entranceways can be slick if people track snow, sleet or rain in on their shoes. The rugs that businesses put down can also create slip-and-fall risk. Rugs can be a tripping hazard if they get rumpled or may slip when not properly secured to the floor. Winter precipitation and snow melts might lead to roof leaks inside a business that could cause people to fall due to improper facility maintenance.

Outdoor slip-and-falls are also a risk

Albany residents generally have an obligation to keep their sidewalks clean. Both businesses and residential property owners should remove snow and ice that builds up on their sidewalks. Businesses also need to maintain clear and safe parking lots. The failure to maintain outdoor spaces could lead to visitors or passers-by suffering preventable injuries.

Those harmed in a slip-and-fall incident may need to pursue a premises liability lawsuit. Taking the matter to court may be the only way to secure an appropriate settlement from a business insurance or homeowners’ insurance policy.  People pursuing a lawsuit or negotiating with insurance companies often require the support of an attorney to secure compensation for their losses.

Ultimately, recognizing how seasonal risks can contribute to major injuries could help Albany residents stay safer in public. This recognition can also help fall victims to pursue rightful compensation should they sustain harm due to another’s negligence.