Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries Over the Summer Months
During the summer months, people tend to get out and about more, whether it is going outside to local parks and pools or by beating the heat visiting indoor attractions or shopping. With the increase in foot traffic comes an increased risk for slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, an incident that seems like nothing more than a mild embarrassment can leave you suffering serious and potentially disabling injuries.
Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), slips and falls are one of the most common causes of accidental injuries, accounting for more than eight million hospital emergency room visits each year. Falls can be even more common in the summer months, due to slippery surfaces at area pools and waterparks, wet floors due to summer storms, rough terrain and uneven walkways in public settings, and condensation caused by the constant running of air conditioners. Add to this the fact that many Floridians spend the summer months wearing sandals and flip flops, and it is easy to see how these accidents can occur.
Anytime a slip, trip, or fall occurs, you should notify security or the property manager and get medical care immediately. Even taking a seemingly minor spill can result in the following types of injuries:
- Serious bruising, cuts, and lacerations;
- Muscle and tendon strains, sprains, and tears;
- Broken bones and dislocated joints;
- Back injuries, including fractured vertebrae or herniated disks;
- Head injuries, such as concussion and traumatic brain injury.
Protecting Yourself Against Slips and Falls
Property owners and managers can be held accountable when slip, trip, or fall injuries occur if they were negligent in maintaining the safety of their property or if they failed to warn visitors of potential dangers. The National Safety Council advises that to prevent these types of accidents signs should be used to warn customers or guests of slippery surfaces, spills should be cleaned up right away, aisles and paths should be kept clear and free from clutter, and walkways should be well maintained, with light fixtures and hand rails as needed. To help protect yourself against dangerous conditions, follow these tips:
- When walking on trails or through parks, wear supportive, closed toe shoes.
- Stay on designated paths, and avoid making your own ‘shortcuts’ through landscaping or untended areas.
- At pools and waterparks, avoid lightweight flip flops and wear water shoes or more substantial sandals with non-slip soles.
- When going up or down stairs, use handrails.
- At heights, stay behind marked areas.
- In stores or businesses, notify staff of any spills.
- Be careful at entrances and exits where condensation generally occurs.
- Keep your head up and your eyes focused on where you are going at all times.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III right away. Many injuries that may appear minor or inconsequential at first can end up having long ranging impacts on your health and mobility. Call or contact our Fort Pierce office online to request a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your injuries and the types of compensation you may be entitled to claim.