Winter weather — we all love to hate it. With snowfalls and chilly weather comes ice-covered streets and sidewalks, making a simple walk down the street or trip to the store a possible disaster.
Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of preventable injury in the United States, and the risk of these falls is bound to increase in the winter months. Read on for some helpful tips on preventing slip and fall accidents, and what to do if you are involved in one.
Taking steps to reduce your risk of falling is one of the easiest ways to avoid a slip and fall injury in the winter weather. Below are a few tips to use to reduce your risk of suffering a fall accident in the winter.
Wear appropriate footwear. It may be tempting to prioritize fashion in your footwear, but to prevent possible falls, your winter footwear should be designed for high traction and comfort. Shoes with rubber soles provide increased traction on ice and snow.
Avoiding walking with your hands in your pockets. Many people put their hands in their pockets to keep them warm while walking, but having your hands free allows you to help brace yourself or break your fall in the case of a sudden slip.
Take small, careful steps and never run across ice or snow. Walk with caution, and test the ground ahead of you if the footing is questionable. Ice and slippery surfaces can be difficult to identify.
Use handrails, walls, door handles, or other secure objects to brace yourself when stepping onto ice or snow. The last thing you want is for your feet to slide out from beneath you, and bracing on a stable object reduces that risk.
Understand that there are factors that can put you at higher risk. Elderly people and those on medications like blood thinners are at a higher risk of sustaining serious injuries in a slip and fall accident. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel uneasy walking in the winter weather.
First Steps if You Have Been Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident due to winter weather, there are steps you can take to ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries.
Seeking medical attention is always the first step when you suffer a fall. Be sure to keep all medical records and take pictures, if you are capable, of the scene of your fall. Capture the area where you fell and any factors that could have contributed to your fall.
There is no need to take pictures of yourself unless they are of an injured body part. It is important to capture all possible aspects of the scene; if the owner of the property has created a defective condition that led to your fall, this can change aspects of your claim.
It is critical to determine who owns the walkway where you fell. In Connecticut, the timeline of your claim depends on ownership of the area where you fell. If the walkway is owned by a municipality, you only have 90 days to put them on notice and consequently two years from the date of the fall to make your claim.
If you fell on private property, a notice is not required, and you get two years to make your claim. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible will help to ease the burden of this process.
Why Do I Need An Attorney for Slip and Fall Cases?
Slip and fall cases are highly valuable. However, it is unlikely that you will receive a payout for your case without the investigation of an attorney. An attorney will help you handle your photographs of the scene and walk you through the claims process so that you can focus on recovering from your fall.
A property owner’s negligence should not have to cause you financial losses and physical injuries.
However, not everyone who falls in a store, in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, or in someone’s home has legal grounds to file suit, so discuss your case with an attorney experienced in handling negligence claims. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney like George W. Ganim, Jr. to speak with a dedicated professional about seeking fair compensation for your injuries after a slip and fall accident.