Most people are well aware that slip and fall accidents surge during the winter as streets and sidewalks accumulate snow and ice. Even a short trip to retrieve the mail could result in an accident. Staying safe during the winter means you have to be proactive in trying to mitigate slips and falls, which often result in emergency room visits from sustaining a fracture.
Aside from fractures, winter-related accidents can cause more severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 1.7 million people sustain a brain injury annually. A substantial number of these injuries are slight injuries or concussions; however, there are serious injuries that can lead to permanent disability.
Brain injuries often occur from slip and fall accidents and spinal cord injury at any point in the year, but the risks of suffering a head injury spikes in the winter, when walking conditions are less than ideal.
Reducing Winter Slip and Fall Accidents
While walking outside, wear suitable shoes that are designed for comfort and high traction, and not for aesthetics. Footwear that provides a grip on snow or ice is important. Rubber soles and boots or shoes with traction and texture can be steady on ice and snow. Your footwear should fit properly and have low, wide heels, along with not having plastic or leather soles.
Experts advise that you walk with small, cautious, and precise steps when you are outside during winter. When your pathway is slippery, you need to walk slowly using small, short steps. If conditions are really slick, you need to shuffle along slowly without picking up your feet, in a gliding type motion. Walk on textured surfaces such as snow or grass if available instead of on slippery walkways.
Do not run or walk vigorously and avoid sudden changes in your direction while walking, and if handrails are available, use them. Having something sturdy to hold on to can be the difference if you slip, along with using a cane, which will provide better stability in hazardous weather.
Watch for slippery floors inside, as water and ice can be found inside near entryways. Exercise caution and go into any building or your home by examining your pathway to see if there are any hazards. Removing as much snow and water as possible from your shoes will lessen your chance of slipping when walking around inside.
Keep your sidewalk shoveled and plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going because the chances of slipping and falling increase when you rush.
Step down, not out, from your car. When getting out of a vehicle, swing both legs out and place both feet flat on the floor before getting up. Using both feet will enhance your stability more than using just one foot. If you are parked in a potentially slick area, grasp onto your vehicle when entering and exiting so you can maintain your balance.
If you are on certain types of medications such as blood thinners, you may be at a much higher risk for more severe injuries from a fall.
Try to eliminate distractions by turning off your cell phone, texting devices, and not listening to music when walking outside in winter. Wear gloves in cold weather to help keep your hands warm and out of your pockets so if you should fall you can better catch yourself using your hands or arms.
What to Do if You Slip or Fall
After slipping or falling because of winter weather, it is critical to document any injury as soon as it takes place. Take photographs of the location of the fall and the conditions that caused it, contact law enforcement to file an accident report, and inform the owner or property manager of the location of the fall. Also, document of the names and addresses of anyone who witnessed the fall, along with keeping the following in mind:
If you have fallen, examine yourself for any injuries. Shout out for aid if you are hurt or cannot get up. Utilize your cell phone to call for help if it is near you. Do not try to get up by yourself, as you could cause additional injuries by having another slip or fall.
If you have a minor injury and are feeling able, you should try to get up from the ground as safely as possible. Roll onto your side and slowly pull yourself up so that you are on your hands and knees and crawling toward a sturdy object that can support you as you try to get up, such as a solid chair, stairs, or a tree. Take a moment to rest before you decide on your next move.
Under premises liability law, landowners, homeowners, and business owners all have a lawful responsibility to maintain their property so that visitors and guests are not needlessly put in danger. Eliminating potential risks and eradicating known hazards are a crucial part of keeping people safe from injury. During the winter months, this includes shoveling snow off driveways, salting down roads, and clearing a safe path down sidewalks or other walkways. Swiftly mopping up any water in entryways can help visitors or guests evade slipping when entering a building. Warnings should be positioned to notify people of any wet or slippery walking surface.
If a property owner or proprietor does not maintain their ground and someone is injured as a result of the dangerous condition, the property owner may be liable to the injured person for all of the related damages, including medical costs and loss of income, along with as pain and suffering.
Mount Laurel Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Advocate for Slip and Fall Accident Victims
A slip and fall accident can derail your life with alarming medical bills from personal injuries. The Mount Laurel slip and fall lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman are available to help you obtain the best compensation to which you are entitled. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Burlington County and surrounding areas.