Fallen Leaves Could Mask Slip and Fall Hazards
October has brought wind and slightly chillier temperatures than normal, so the green leaves made their turn to that beautiful orange, red and yellow a bit quicker than Michigan’s normal foliage peaks. But even if you missed your favorite ride to view the changing trees, you may still see plenty of fall colors while participating in your favorite outdoor activities, a time when most leaves will be noticeable as they gather on sidewalks, pile up in business parking lots, and scatter through walkways. Fallen leaves can also fill holes, dents and divots and create the scene of a slip and fall accident. A Michigan slip and fall accident refers to a situation where a person is injured by slipping, tripping or otherwise falling due to a dangerous condition on a premise such as a business establishment, apartment community or private home.
Business Establishments and Home Owners Have a Responsibility
When specifically talking about tree debris, business and home owners alike should take notice at how quickly fallen leaves and sticks will cover the ground, making it difficult for most passersby to see what they may be walking on or into. This is especially true when a clean-up effort is not maintained by landowners or if there has been an actual or constructive notice of the danger lurking below. Owners should be ensuring property is ready and safe for any season, but the fall and winter months create additional maintenance and yard clean up needs.
- General maintenance should be performed regularly or as necessary.
- Leaves should be raked as they fall and bagged for collection.
- Cracks or breaks in concrete should be inspected and filled.
- Blacktop should be mended before a Michigan freeze settles in.
- If leaves are wet, they could pose additional injury threats and be as dangerous as walking on black ice.
Leaves should be cleared from walkways, business entrances and driveways as soon as possible to avoid being involved in a personal injury claim. We have provided a review of two slip and fall cases related to leave debris, with much different outcomes here.
Injured in a Slip and Fall? Every Fact Counts
A reasonable person would think the ground beneath covered areas would be flush and walkable. One of the most popular and dangerous defenses used by building owners is the open and obvious doctrine. However, every fact counts once a person becomes injured in a slip and fall accident caused by a leave pileup.
We want you to enjoy Michigan’s endless opportunities to celebrate this beautiful season with your family. These can be such memorable and enjoyable experiences for all ages, but outdoor activities can come with a risk to personal injury. Be sure to take extra care and if you become injured, seek help, take photographs of the scene to show evidence, start an injury journal and call Lee Free and Michigan slip and fall lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form.
There are certain time limits in bringing a Michigan slip and fall case and neglecting to mention even one small detail could break a claim, so it is important to contact a lawyer and protect your legal rights. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about Michigan slip and fall law and Michigan premises accidents.