Autumn Leaves Cause Slip And Fall Accidents

The season is changing, and the weather is cooling down. This is a relief to many, especially after the heat Tennessee residents experienced this year. However, many people may not realize that one of the most beautiful parts of the changing season can cause serious injuries.

The Autumn leaves that change their colors and fall to the ground are pretty, but they can cause slip and fall accidents. When you are walking around this season, there are some things you should keep in mind to remain safe. A slip and fall caused by leaves may actually be the fault of someone else.

How can leaves cause a slip and fall incident?

When most people think of slip and fall incidents, they think of spills on a supermarket floor or ice on a driveway. However, leaves can become serious hazards, especially when they are falling in large numbers. Maybe one or two loose leaves will not present much danger, but thousands of leaves do.

The rainy conditions we have been experiencing make those Fall leaves dangerous. Wet leaves become very slippery, making them nearly as hazardous as ice. On the outside of a building, there are many areas where leaves tend to accumulate:

  • Sidewalks
  • Streets
  • Parking lots
  • Outdoor recreation areas

All of these areas can become hazardous with slippery leaves. However, leaves can also become indoor hazards. When people open doors, the leaves can blow inside the entrance to a building, whether it be a grocery store, apartment complex, bank, or more. These leaves, combined with slush, mud, and other debris, can present significant hazards to anyone walking inside.

What are the most common slip and fall injuries?

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, nearly one million people go to the hospital with injuries caused by slip and fall incidents each year in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that older Americans are at higher risk of serious injuries in a slip and fall accident, but people of all ages can sustain the following:

  • Concussions
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Bone bruises

Slip and fall accident injuries can lead to major medical expenses for victims. These injuries can inhibit a person’s ability to work or perform daily tasks. Not only will a slip and fall accident victim incur major medical bills, but they may lose their income if they cannot work while they recover.

Who is liable for slip and fall accidents?

Many slip and fall incidents caused by leaves can be prevented. It is up to property owners to properly cleanup known hazards. Autumn leaves are known hazards.

Property owners should recognize the dangers presented by leaves that have fallen and:

  • Keep sidewalks and pedestrian pathways outdoors clear
  • Get leaves out of parking lots
  • Ensure that any leaves that get inside the building are cleaned as soon as possible
  • Place warning signs and “wet floor” signs out so pedestrians know of possible dangers

Properly owners can be held liable for slip and fall injuries caused by hazards they have a reasonable knowledge of. They could be on the line for slip and fall accident expenses. A qualified and experienced premises liability attorney will be able to help you understand your options in the aftermath of a slip and fall incident.