For many families, going to the mall the day after Thanksgiving to snag steeply discounted merchandise is becoming as much of a holiday tradition as Thanksgiving itself. Every year, swarms of shoppers line up outside department stores—sometimes camping out the night before the doors open—to secure the best deals possible.
Property owners must provide premises that are free of hazards that could cause injuries to visitors or customers. However, slip-and-fall accidents are the subject of many lawsuits in the civil courts of Alaska. Foreign substances that cause slippery surfaces typically lead to slips that result in victims falling backward. In contrast, a person who trips over a misplaced object or uneven walk surface would usually fall forward. In both these accidents, various injuries can occur, some of which can cause long-term health problems.
Consumers in Alaska may not realize that shopping might be a hazardous activity. Premises liability laws require owners of retail facilities to take reasonable care to offer consumers premises that are free of unsafe conditions or hidden dangers. They must ensure that spills are cleaned up immediately to prevent slip-and-fall accidents, repair broken railings or stairs, remove objects that have fallen, replace faulty light bulbs and provide the necessary security to protect customers.
Whenever anyone in Alaska suffers injuries on negligently maintained premises of another person or entity, the injured person might have grounds to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system of the state. Typical incidents that give rise to premises liability lawsuits involve slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. When this happens inside a building, common causes include torn carpets, wet patches on the floor, poor lighting, changes in flooring, and narrow or damaged stairs. However, accidents can also occur outside due to broken sidewalks, accumulated ice, snow, water and other hazards.
Here in Alaska, we have to deal with icy pathways more often than the average person. You may feel like you’ve spent most of your life treading cautiously. Nonetheless, slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of injury.