Safety Hazards to Watch for on Docks & Piers

Safety Hazards to Watch for on Docks & Piers

by / Friday, 04 September 2020 / Published in Personal Injury
Pier on a beach at sunrise

If you enjoy spending time around water, Michigan is one of the best places in the country to be. Not only do we have access to the Great Lakes, there are many other lakes throughout the lake to enjoy. Whether you like to go out on your boat, spend a day fishing, or just want to spend a day at the beach, there are plenty of places to relax and have some fun. But if you spend time near the water, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending time on docks or piers.

Docks and piers can be thriving areas of activity, but they can also be full of hazards that can potentially cause serious injuries to visitors. The nature of piers and docks mean there’s an inherent risk that they could become wet and slippery, but that’s not the only way people could get hurt.

Just because it’s easy for docks to get wet, that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for them to be more dangerous than necessary. Anytime docks and piers aren’t well maintained, the people who visit them are put in harm’s way. Wood planks that have become warped or were installed incorrectly can be very easy to trip over. Damaged concrete or concrete that was poured unevenly are also possible trip hazards. If a dock or pier is made of wood, it needs to be routinely inspected to check for planks that have rotted or otherwise damaged and need to be repaired or replaced. If rotted planks are left in place, they could eventually give way under a person’s foot.

Docks and piers can be full of other types of trip hazards as well. For example, if a pier or dock is a popular fishing spot, you might encounter things like fishing poles and tackle boxes scattered around the area. Ropes and other types of cords and cables are another common sight around marinas that can easily be tripped over if they’re not properly stored.

Between the fact that piers and docks are close to water and the high risk for slip, trip, and fall accidents, handrails play an important role in helping people stay safe. If rails become loose over time or if they aren’t maintained as well as they should be, there’s a chance they can fail just when they’re needed most.

If you’ve been injured on a dock or a pier, it’s very important to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. One big thing that will play a role in your case is whether or not the dock/pier is owned and maintained by a private organization or is publicly owned. If a city or state is responsible for maintaining it, there could be special limitations involved with making a claim. Or if it was owned by a private club, they could have lawyers and insurance companies who want you to quickly settle for as little as possible.

At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers who have a track record of success in helping victims of slip and fall accident cases and many other types of injury cases. Contact us today for help with your case.

Image: iStock / Sean Pavone

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