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Slip and Fall Accidents: What to Watch Out for This Winter

Getting hurt in a slip and fall accident can happen to anyone. It can also happen at any time of year but many slip and fall accidents happen in the winter. So many people underestimate the impact of slip and fall accidents because they assume it's the result of being clumsy.

But what if a property owner failed to remove a hazard and left you to suffer the consequences in the form of a serious slip and fall injury? This information should be shared with a premises liability attorney. Knowing what to look out for regarding slip and fall accidents this winter can help you to prevent an accident in the first place, but in some cases it's not entirely your fault or it simply couldn’t be helped. Even though you want to do everything in your power to learn what to do to prevent slip and fall accidents this winter, accidents can and will still happen.

Can I File a Suit? 

You need to be prepared to hold the negligent property owner accountable by filing a lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney. Knowing the common challenges in winter will give you a better perspective on where you're most likely at risk. From snow and ice on sidewalks to people who don't know how to drive on slippery roads, slip and fall accidents often increase during the winter months. According to the National Safety Council, slip and fall injuries account for 8.9 million emergency room visits every single year and unfortunately, falls are a leading cause of accidental deaths in the home and in communities. 

Falls can often be attributed to the negligence of a property owner who could have and should have done more to decrease the risk. Prevention is one of the most important aspects to avoiding injury. Never walk around outside with your hands in your pockets because instead by wearing gloves you keep your hands free and able to brace yourself if you fall. Always wear proper shoes during the winter months, such as those that have great traction. Test ground before walking ahead if you are unsure whether or not it is stable. If the footing is questionable, this can help you from slipping and falling. If you're walking on heavy ice or snow, avoid carrying heavier loads. 

These areas are extremely slippery and you can be much more seriously injured by slipping and falling in these patches. Wherever available, use door handles, handrails and secure objects to brace yourself when stepping onto an icy or snowy surface. If you know that a snowstorm is coming or see that icy patch outside your home, do everything possible you can to avoid it before stepping outside or avoid going outside altogether. It can be difficult to know slip and fall accidents to watch out for in the fall and winter but it is also in your best interests to know how to prevent these. You can also be mindful of ways to prevent slip and fall accidents for your elderly loved ones who are especially vulnerable to serious injuries. Ice and snow accumulation is usually close behind the early days of winter. 

Property owners should be aware of some of the most common risks that pop up during the winter and should have proactive plans to respond to incidents and to prevent slip and fall accidents from happening in the first place. For example, if they know that people typically tracking in water will increase the risk of an indoor slip, they might use special stripping on the floor or rugs to allow people to wipe off their shoes before entering an office building. This could help to prevent devastating injuries for everyone who works in or visits that office. These small steps might not seem like they could have that big of an impact, but they can be instrumental in preventing accidents. 

How to Decrease Your Slip and Fall Accident Risk 

Being aware of your surroundings will increase your chances of being able to brace yourself and avoid dangerous circumstances, but what if a property owner hasn't done their due diligence in minimizing your risks? The types of slip and fall accident injuries you face can be severe, and multiple injuries can make it difficult or impossible for you to ever fully recover. In those circumstances, you want to know that you can access the help of an experienced and dedicated premises liability lawyer.

Being aware of your surroundings, however, is only a piece of the puzzle. You can’t and shouldn’t be expected to know about all possible risks you could face in terms of a slip and fall accident. For that reason, property owners should do their due diligence to minimize your risks and decrease the chances of anyone falling and getting hurt. However, these accidents still happen especially in the winter if the property owner hasn’t increased their own awareness of potential risks. 

Most Common Injury Types of Slip and Fall Accidents in the Winter

Many different factors can influence your slip and fall accident injuries during the winter, including where you fell, the speed at which you fell and whether there were any other dangerous objects that your body could hit during your fall. What follows are some of the most common types of injuries affecting slip and fall accidents. The first are fractures. Fractures refer to a complete or partial break in a bone. It is very easy to fracture your wrist in a winter slip and fall accident when you are trying to catch yourself. Fractures can be anywhere from mild to severe and will range in pain levels too. The patient's general health, age and severity of the injury will all influence these outcomes. 

Common symptoms and signs of a fracture include bruising, swelling, pain around the affected bone, being unable to move the injured area and being unable to put weight on the injured area. 

If you believe that someone you love has suffered a fracture as a result of a slip and fall, make sure that you get proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Concussions are another common type of injury with slip and fall accidents. These are some of the most serious injuries you could get if you sustain a slip and fall. A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head that causes the brain and head to move back and forth. 

Signs of a concussion include vomiting or nausea, headache, confusion, being bothered by light or noise, or not being able to recall events prior to or after. Another category of injuries that is very common for those suffering in winter slip and fall accidents are sprains and strains. 

These can happen when any part of your ligament is stretched or torn. You might sprain your ankle if you try to brace from a fall and end up twisting it instead or could hurt your wrist if you are attempting to catch yourself. You never know exactly how your injuries will affect your life but the support of a lawyer is instrumental.

From swelling, bruising and pain to remembering a popping sound that occurred around the time of your injury, these are all common examples of winter slip and fall accidents. If you have further questions about how to proceed and what you can expect, make sure that you consult with a lawyer immediately to increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. It can be difficult to put the pieces of your life back together after an accident but this is not a responsibility that you should take on by yourself. A lawyer can advise you about some of the most common challenges that you might face and can help guide you through the legal process to give you the best possible chance at getting maximum compensation.       

Why You Need Help With a Slip and Fall Claim

No one wants to be the victim of an embarrassing slip and fall or an accident that leaves you with major injuries. Since there is so much at stake, you want to discuss your options first with an experienced and dedicated lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. This might be the best way to get a handle on whether or not you have a legal case and what you might expect as far as next steps. 

There's no way to know for sure how a slip and fall accident will affect you until you have had the opportunity to speak with your physician. You might discover that you are fine and the hours immediately after the accident but if you wake up with pain days later. You need to take all of these symptoms seriously and report them to your doctor as soon as possible. If you can show them another person's negligence contributed to your slip and fall accident in the first place, you may be able to hold them accountable to help pay for your medical bills and other expenses linked to these injuries.

If you’re ready to take your first steps to resolve a slip and fall accident and move forward with your life, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan and receive a free case evaluation to get started.

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