Holiday hazards that cause premises liability claims
The holidays bring to mind happiness, kindness, fun and many other positive associations. It is a time for making memories and sharing love with family and friends.
However, the season also brings multiple risks as you go about your holiday activities. These dangers can easily turn a joyous moment into a horrific disaster that ends in high medical bills and a long recovery. Know the risks you may face so you can better avoid them and recognize when to take legal action if they happen to you.
Buying gifts can be both a pleasure and a nightmare. People and products crowd stores. This combination creates multiple hazards:
- Merchandise and equipment obstructing walkways
- Liquids spilling to the floor
- Items falling from overloaded shelves and precarious displays
- People tracking in mud and snow
Businesses should prepare to keep the premises clear, clean and safe with the increase of foot traffic. Even employees can be at risk for injury, including from falling off ladders while stocking shelves, reaching an item for a customer or organizing a display. Sometimes, premises liability claims can cover customers assaulting one another.
Commercial and residential establishments put up all kinds of decorations to get into the holiday spirit and attract people. As beautiful as the decor is, it can also be dangerous. Unsecured trees can fall on top of you. Open flames can lead to burns and fires, and improperly used lights can result in electrical shocks, power outages, fires and trips-and-falls from extension cords. Broken ornaments can cut you or present a choking hazard to children.
The busiest time of year, unfortunately, occurs in the winter. For this reason, the exterior of a building (including residential properties) requires the same attention as does the interior to eliminate slip-and-fall accidents from ice near the entrance, on steps and in parking lots. Having adequate lighting outside is helpful in preventing accident and injury.