Springtime in Illinois is a messy season. All of the snow melts, and rainfall is generally heavier than in the summer. Occasionally, there will be additional snow or freezing events as late as April. Every time it freezes and then thaws or it rains, there is an increase in slip-and-fall risk when people go out in public.
Many people in Illinois worry primarily about falling in the winter months. They assume that they will slip on an icy section of a parking lot or on snowmelt tracked into the grocery store by other customers. However, spring has plenty of its own slip-and-fall risks.
Wet floors and saturated rugs are dangerous
Businesses know that they could face insurance claims or a lawsuit when someone falls on their property. They may require that workers frequently check the floors for spills and invest in special rugs that help absorb the water and trap the mud that people track in from outside.
However, no rug can absorb all of the water that comes down during a major spring rainstorm. Businesses need to actively dry their mats or replace them with fresh rugs when they are fully saturated. They may also need to clean around the rugs in case excess moisture spills out on the floor.
People trying to rub the mud off of their shoes might mean that the rugs themselves become a tripping hazard, as they could get crumpled up by someone aggressively wiping their feet.
Slip-and-fall risks in spring are well-known
Your right to file an insurance claim or bring a premises liability lawsuit against a business often depends on whether you can show that the business was negligent. Wrinkled rugs and water or mud accumulation near entranceways are well-known slip-and-fall risks.
Businesses should be proactive about addressing these issues rather than waiting for something to happen on their property that leaves a person hurt. Those who break an arm or hurt their head in a slip-and-fall incident can potentially ask for compensation for their medical bills, property damage losses and lost income because of their injury.
Understanding the springtime fall risks and the rules for premises liability claims can help protect you from a slip-and-fall or from financial losses if you ever do experience one.