When most people think of a personal injury, they often think of an indoor accident. However, this is not always the case. These accidents can happen outside, and these cases can be harder to prove because of the increased difficulty of establishing fault.
As a consumer or a store owner, it is important to be aware of the possible hazardous conditions:
Snow and Ice on the Ground
Business owner: This is something we know about all too well in the state of Indiana. However, it does not make it any less dangerous. As a business owner, it is important that you are vigilant in both salting and shoveling to create clear walkways.
Consumer: The responsibility of a civilian in these conditions is important too. While we would like to always expect the business owners to clear up the hazards, many times this won’t be the case, whether because the snow is falling too fast to manage or because the owner simply did not prioritize it. As a civilian, you can protect yourself by always looking for paths where the snow is cleared and wearing proper snow shoes.
Snow and Ice on the Building
Business owner: Buildings are typically susceptible to an accumulation of snow and ice that can pose serious hazards. It is important that a business owner pay attention to the maintenance of the roof. If this is not reasonable, then it is important to instruct customers to keep a distance from the potential hazards through signs.
Consumer: It is important, as a civilian, to respect the signs that suggest keeping a distance from the building, even if it causes you to have to walk slightly out of the way. Often, snow or icicles build up on a roof. They can dislodge under either too much pressure or an increase in temperature. These falls can cause serious injury if anyone is struck by the snow or ice.
Business owner: As a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your sidewalks and parking lots have an adequate amount of lighting. People should be able to see any obstacle that may be in front of them. Be sure to maintain this lighting, replacing any lightbulbs as needed.
Consumer: Once again, as much as we would like to depend on business owners to take care of this, it is not always the case. Be sure that, if you use glasses, you wear them in these situations. It is also recommended that, if you do not feel confident in certain lighting, you carry a flashlight or a phone that has a flashlight option with you at all times.
Poor Maintenance of a Parking Lot or Sidewalk
Business Owner: As a business owner, you are liable for any injuries that occur on your property, and this includes the parking lot. Winters can be hard on parking lots, and it is your responsibility both to keep the space salted to avoid any ice buildup and to patch any crack or craters caused by the winter weather.
Consumer: Any time conditions suggest ice may be present, expect it. Wear proper shoes and pay extra attention to where you are walking so that you don’t accidently trip on one of the cracks caused by the weather.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injuries abound in winter, and it is important that civilians and business owners work together through the season. However, sometimes accidents will still happen, and if you are injured because of a business’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.