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How does Wisconsin’s weather affect slip-and-fall incidents?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Personal Injury

Wisconsin’s ever-changing weather can significantly increase the danger of slip-and-fall incidents. Slips and falls can cause serious injuries, raising questions about premises liability claims.

Individuals navigating potential claims must be aware of the ongoing storm doctrine and recognize the significance of proving negligence for a successful case.

Defining a slip and fall

A slip-and-fall incident happens when someone loses footing or balance, leading to an unexpected fall. Common places for such incidents include stores, restaurants and public spaces. Outdoor spaces that with exposure to the elements are also frequent culprits.

Causes often involve wet or slippery floors, icy sidewalks, uneven surfaces or poorly maintained areas.

These incidents can result in injuries, making it essential for property owners to address potential hazards and maintain safe conditions to prevent slips and falls.

Premises liability

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners to maintain safe conditions for those on their premises. Property owners should promptly address hazards like snow and ice to prevent injuries in the context of slips and falls.

Wisconsin weather challenges

In Wisconsin, the ongoing storm doctrine recognizes the challenges posed by continuous storms. Property owners may need a reasonable amount of time to address hazardous conditions caused by ongoing weather events.

This recognition of the practical difficulties posed by continuous storms can impact the outcome of a premises liability claim.


Negligence plays a central role in slip-and-fall claims. You may be able to hold property owners liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care in maintaining safe premises. Negligence involves a breach of the duty of care owed to visitors, leading to hazardous conditions that result in injuries.

Individuals filing claims must prove that the property owner’s negligence directly contributed to the slip-and-fall incident.

Slip-and-fall injuries

Common injuries from slip and falls include bruises, sprains and fractures. Wrist and ankle injuries are prevalent, often occurring as people attempt to break their falls.

Head injuries, such as concussions, can result from impacting the ground. Back injuries may also occur due to sudden twists or impacts.

While many slip and fall injuries are minor, some can lead to long-term consequences. They may need extensive medical treatments and extended recovery periods, often leading to financial difficulties.

Tips for avoiding slip-and-fall incidents

Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slip and falls, especially in slippery conditions. Walk cautiously on wet or uneven surfaces, using handrails when available. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoiding distractions like texting while walking. Be wary in poorly lit areas.

Property owners or managers should promptly clean up spills and use warning signs for wet floors. Ensure proper lighting to identify potential hazards. Regularly maintain walkways, addressing slippery or uneven surfaces promptly.