Home > NewsRelease > It’s Not Just a Winter Hazard. Watch Out for Summer Slip and Fall Accidents
It’s Not Just a Winter Hazard. Watch Out for Summer Slip and Fall Accidents
Cochran, Kroll and Associates Cochran, Kroll and Associates
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Detroit, MI
Wednesday, June 5, 2024


Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Over eight million people are treated in emergency rooms annually for fall-related injuries, making them the leading cause of ER visits. While many people associate slips, trips, and falls with icy winter conditions, the truth is that these accidents occur year-round – and summer has its own risks.

If you’ve been injured in a summer slip and fall accident, the experienced attorneys from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can guide you through the legal process. Our legal team knows the state’s premises liability laws and will fight to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Differences Between Summer and Winter Slip and Falls

During winter, we’re naturally more cautious about slippery conditions caused by snow, ice, freezing rain, and melting puddles. However, summer has its own unique hazards that can easily lead to dangerous slip and fall situations if not properly identified and addressed.

Common reasons for summer falls may include wet pool areas, spilled drinks at outdoor events, rain from thunderstorms, and even condensation buildup. While winter falls often result from poor traction, summer trips can occur on dry surfaces due to debris, cracked pavement, loose carpeting, or other defects.

Common Summer Slip and Fall Accidents

Summer is a time for outdoor fun, but awareness of potential hazards is important. Here are some of the most common slip and fall accidents that occur during the summer months:

Sign for Slip and Fall Accidents

  • Pools and water areas. Few things beat the heat, like taking a dip in the pool. However, wet surfaces around pools, hot tubs, and other water features become extremely slippery when not adequately treated or maintained. Lack of traction, puddles, and debris can send someone sliding into the water, risking fall injuries or drowning. Docks and boats are also slick, with worn surfaces that become like ice rinks when wet. Even getting in and out of a boat can lead to falls if the deck materials lack grip.
  • Outdoor dining areas. The popularity of summer outdoor dining means more people eating and drinking on patios, decks, and other exterior spaces. Unfortunately, these areas are often constructed with materials that become hazardous in certain weather.
    For example, wooden decks can grow mold and become slippery when damp. Concrete patios may seem stable but can have cracks or uneven surfaces that cause trips and falls, especially when servers are carrying hot food and beverages.
  • Event venues. Summertime events like festivals, fairs, concerts, and sporting events draw sizable crowds into temporary venues that may not have the same safety precautions as permanent facilities.
    Everything from rain-soaked grass fields and tent flooring to food and drink spills and poorly secured electrical cords can create the perfect condition for falls.
  • Construction zones. Summer is the peak season for construction work on residential and commercial job sites. However, construction areas are rife with slip, trip, and fall hazards, such as exposed holes, unstable scaffolding, loose materials, dust, and equipment obstructions.
    The lack of proper safety protocols puts workers and passersby at serious risk of injuries from elevated falls or same-level incidents.
  • Playgrounds. While meant for kids’ enjoyment, playgrounds contain plenty of potential slip and fall dangers. Wet plastic slides and climbing equipment become incredibly slick.
    Improper ground cover like loose gravel, exposed footings, or tree roots can easily cause falls from tripping. Areas surrounding playgrounds are also common fall locations if not properly secured with fencing or other safeguards.

Who’s at Risk for Summer Slip and Falls?

While anyone can experience a slip and fall incident, certain groups are at higher risk of being involved – and suffering more serious consequences. Seniors aged 65 and older represent a vulnerable population due to balance issues, lower bone density, and other age-related health factors that make falls far more likely and severe.

Young children are equally susceptible to debilitating summer slips and falls, and falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children under 14 in the U.S. Their lack of coordination, limited hazard awareness, and reduced sense of caution around water make them prime candidates for summer slip and fall tragedies.

Some of the most severe and life-altering consequences of summer slip and fall accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Shattered bones and compound fractures
  • Severe muscle or joint damage
  • Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage and chronic neuropathy

The intense pain, ongoing rehabilitation, permanent disability, and mental trauma from these injuries can devastate a victim’s livelihood and quality of life.

Slip and Fall Liability: Who’s Responsible for Damages?

Slip and falls fall under the umbrella of premises liability—a property owner’s duty to keep their premises reasonably safe under Michigan law (MCL 554.139). This duty of care extends to commercial properties like stores and restaurants as well as residential premises.

If an owner knew or should have known about a hazardous condition like a wet floor, broken stairs, or poor lighting but failed to address it, they can be considered negligent if it causes injury. Proving premises liability requires showing:

  • The hazard existed
  • The owner knew or should have known about it
  • The owner breached their duty to fix or warn of it
  • The breach caused the slip and fall injuries.

For example, if a store owner knew of a large puddle on the floor from a leaky roof but did nothing to clean it up or warn customers, leading to a patron’s slip and fall accident, the owner may be liable under the premises liability statute.

The “open and obvious” doctrine is also critical in premises liability cases. Previously, under Michigan law, property owners were not obligated to warn of obvious and easily avoidable hazards to a reasonable person. However, in July 2023, the Michigan Supreme Court amended this doctrine, making it easier for victims of slip and fall accidents to claim compensation.

What to do if You’re Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious slip and fall injury can be overwhelming, but taking the proper steps is crucial, both for your health and for any potential legal claims. Here’s a checklist on how to proceed:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. Your priority is receiving appropriate emergency care and treatment, even if you feel fine initially. Some injuries like concussions or internal bleeding may not show symptoms right away. Getting evaluated also creates documentation of the incident.
  • Report the incident. Notify the property owner, manager, or staff about the accident details, including the location and cause. Get their information and request a copy of the official incident report.
  • Document everything. Take photos and videos of the area where you fell, capturing any hazards like slippery surfaces, poor lighting, and obstacles that contributed. Obtain contact information for any witnesses and record how the accident impacts your daily activities and symptoms.
  • Preserve evidence. Keep items related to the incident, such as the clothes and shoes you were wearing when it happened. Wait to get rid of anything until your attorney advises you.
  • Consult an attorney. An experienced slip and fall lawyer from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can evaluate whether you have grounds for a valid premises liability claim. Our team also includes partner Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse, and lawyer who can review your medical records and treatment.
  • Avoid social media posts. Do not share any information about your fall, injuries or potential lawsuit on social media platforms, as these posts could undermine your case.
  • Request all records. Get copies of any police reports, witness statements, surveillance footage, medical bills and records, and other documentation of your accident and injuries.

Don’t Let a Summer Slip and Fall Derail Your Life

Summer is a relaxing time to create joyful memories with friends and family. Unfortunately, those warm-weather good times can be shattered in an instant by a serious slip and fall accident that leaves you with painful injuries, mounting medical bills, lost income, and long-lasting trauma.

If a preventable property hazard has turned your summer upside down, don’t simply accept your condition as an unavoidable accident. Let the premises liability professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. evaluate your legal rights and options for recovering maximum compensation for your summer slip and fall accidents.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Iain Bowie is an experienced copywriter who crafts easy-to-understand legal articles, so readers can get the assistance they need.

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