Winter? Inevitable. Slip and Fall Accidents? Preventable.

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Those frigid temperatures outside mean that winter has officially arrived to Central Washington. And with winter weather, snow and ice, comes greater responsibility for businesses and greater risk for pedestrians.

For Businesses:

Slip and fall injuries are one of the most common types of personal injury claim. When a customer falls on someone else’s property, business owners can be held responsible if reasonable steps could have avoided the dangerous condition. It is critical that property owners take certain precautions to avoid dangerous conditions for patrons. In the winter, blocked gutters can be the biggest contributor to accumulations of ice. Make sure all leaves and debris are cleaned out so that large patches of ice don’t form under your eaves.

For uneven pavement that may cause pooling and ice patches, like parking lots, you must be diligent about clearing snow, and use de-icer and/or sand appropriately. Keep in mind that both de-icers and sand can have negative environmental effects, so read up on how to choose de-icers with the least environmental impact and learn how to dispose of sand and snow safely. Light your property well to illuminate any changes in the terrain and fill cracks and holes as needed. A good guideline is this: when cold winter mornings bring slippery ice, conduct a daily survey of your property and consider how you might make it safe for a loved one to navigate it.

For Pedestrians:

Wear appropriate shoes in winter weather, as good traction can often prevent a fall. Use handrails and be mindful of any changes in uneven terrain, whether sudden or gradual. Businesses should provide safe conditions for their guests and should be held accountable for injuries they have caused on their property. Abeyta Nelson is experienced in handling slip and fall claims, and we know that these kinds of cases often result in significant medical bills and lost time away from work. We help individuals receive compensation for both medical expenses and lost wages by filing suit against the person or company responsible for the conditions that caused the accident. Most claims for injuries due to a fall can be settled without a lawsuit. Don’t let the stress of a slip and fall injury ruin your winter season – call on the experienced attorneys of Abeyta Nelson to handle your case for you.