The winter holidays are a great time for businesses and individuals alike. Holiday spirit and holiday spending abound, and it seems like everyone is out and about getting ready to celebrate. There are also risks, though, with large crowds, heavy traffic, and more. This brief guide will help you to limit your liability and avoid personal injury lawsuits during the holiday season.
As the big day nears, traffic around shopping areas can be downright nightmarish. It’s easy to get fed up and frustrated when the gridlock is keeping you from getting that last gift and getting home. It’s important to keep your cool on the road, though. Stay aware of your surroundings, and try to leave space between your vehicle and other cars. Always signal before changing lanes and obey all traffic laws. One moment of inattention or frustration could put you at fault for someone else’s injury in a crash. Be smart, stay calm, and avoid liability.
Ice and snow on the roads are another cause for concern. In Virginia, many drivers don’t have much experience driving in these conditions. Always go slower than you think you need to in snowy conditions. Brake slowly to avoid skidding, and begin braking very early on slippery roads. Snow and ice can also cause your vehicle to move in unexpected ways. Keep plenty of distance between yourself and other vehicles so that an unexpected swerve will not end in a crash.
Slip and Fall
Business owners must be vigilant to avoid slip and fall injuries on their premises. In snowy and icy weather, you must be sure to shovel snow and make every effort to salt and eliminate ice in your parking area and/or sidewalk and entrance. If these areas are your property or are considered your responsibility to clear under local ordinances, you can be liable if someone is injured due to improper clearing after a storm.
Snowy or rainy conditions can also result in water being tracked in or melting on the floors inside of a business. Be vigilant and keep your floors dry to lessen the risk of an avoidable slip or fall on your premises.
Holiday decorations are festive and encourage customers to visit your business. However, they must be displayed safely to avoid potential hazards.
Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions when using lighted decorations, and do not display them close to paper or other flammable materials, as they can be a fire hazard when used improperly.
If children will visit your business, make sure that decorations do not present any hazards for them. Keep any items with small pieces high enough that small children cannot reach them as they can be a choking hazard. You also should not choose decorations that children might try to climb on if they are not sturdy enough and intended for that use.
When it comes to avoiding personal injury lawsuits, common sense is always best. If you think a situation (or decoration) might present a liability, make sure to fix it before an injury can occur.
Have a happy and safe holiday! Don’t forget to like and share!