Slip and fall accidents while shopping are a common occurrence. They are even more common during the holiday and post-holiday seasons. From overcrowded shopping aisles to sidewalks covered in ice and snow, several factors increase the risk of slip and fall accidents this time of year.
As personal injury lawyers in New Jersey, we regularly speak with individuals who have suffered painful injuries in slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, we have witnessed the consequences of these accidents firsthand, and we know that there is nothing people can do to protect themselves in many cases. With this in mind, we encourage everyone to be especially careful while shopping this winter—and we offer these tips to help minimize your risk of injury.
1. Shop When the Stores are Less Crowded
By shopping when the stores are less crowded, you can reduce the risk of slipping and falling as a result of bumping into someone else. You can also reduce the risk of being unable to see potential hazards (i.e., icy patches on the sidewalk) due to the number of people in front of you.
2. Stay Home When the Weather is Bad
If you are not last-minute shopping, consider staying home when the weather is bad. You are more likely to rush in the rain or snow, which means that you are more likely to slip and fall unexpectedly.
3. Look Out for Snow and Ice Outside
Even if it is sunny, it is still important to look out for snow and ice outside. If it has snowed or rained recently, parking lots and sidewalks could still be very slippery. If you encounter a patch of snow or ice on your way to a store, take the time to go around it if you can.
4. Look Out for Melted Snow and Ice Inside
In addition to looking out for snow and ice outside, holiday and post-holiday shoppers should also look out for melted snow and ice inside. It is pretty common for puddles to form near store doors, and shoppers will often leave slippery paths behind them as the snow melts off of their boots or shoes.
5. Use Handrails When They are Available
A significant percentage of all slip and fall accidents occur on staircases and in stairwells. It is always a good idea to hold onto the handrail when using the stairs. But, it is especially important to hold onto the handrail if the steps could be slippery. If your hands are full, take the time to shift all of your bags to one hand so that you have the other hand free, or take the elevator if there is one available.
Schedule a Free Consultation at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.
Our premises liability lawyers provide experienced legal representation for individuals who have been injured in slip and fall accidents. If you get injured in a slip and fall accident while shopping during or after the holidays, you can call 877-435-6371 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer for free.