January 27, 2015
Winter Fall Injury Hazards
By Jonathan Damashek
Posted inGo to the main Personal Injury page
Once winter has set in, there often is a great deal of excitement about various upcoming holidays, parties at work and gatherings with friends and family. There is shopping to do for clothing, gifts and party supplies. In the midst of all the excitement, it is important to remember that walking is extremely dangerous on wet, icy and snowy sidewalks, and when entering buildings with entryways slickened by melted snow and water.
The National Safety Council reports that falls are the leading cause of injuries, with approximately 8.9 million hospital visits to the ER every year, and with 25,000 fatalities from falls in a recent year.
Older people are at greater risk of serious injury, and the agency reports that those over 55 years of age are almost four times more likely to die from the injuries sustained in a fall. Persons of any age could suffer very serious injuries in a slip and fall, depending upon the circumstances. These yearly statistics tell a frightening tale about the dangers of slip and fall injury:
Common Winter Fall Injuries
The injuries sustained in a slip and fall include the following:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Severe Soft Tissue Injuries
Any property owner or manager has the duty to take reasonable precautions to protect visitors and guests from risk of injury. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, you may have a premises liability claim. You can get an explanation of your legal options by contacting a New York premises liability lawyer to get a case evaluation.
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of accidents that take place in commercial enterprises, such as hotels, restaurants and public buildings. Seventy percent of these accidents occur on flat surfaces. During winter months, the numbers of serious injuries from slip and fall accidents always rise. Any person is at risk when the sidewalks are snowy or icy, and if a slip and fall does occur, the steps you take immediately after the accident can have a significant impact on your ability to recover damages from the property owner or manager.
Slip and fall accidents are responsible for 53% of general liability claims filed against companies. Sixty-one percent of these cases took place on one level. There are various ways a property owner can be deemed to be responsible for the damages to a visitor or guest that will make it possible to file a claim and get a settlement. These factors include:
Falls for Older Adults: The Dangers
Among older adults, the CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of death. The agency reports that in 2012, there were 2.4 million falls that required a trip to the ER, and 722,000 of these injured victims required hospitalization. The agency reports the following statistics related to older adults and falls:
How to Avoid Winter Slip and Trip Accidents
There are precautions you can take to mitigate the risk of falling. Accidents can still happen, and you should exercise your right to compensation if you’re hurt because of someone’s negligence. However, you can have a stronger case if you do everything in your power to avoid injuries.
- Wear proper gear: Wear comfortable shoes with traction. Don’t wear heels or flats which do not offer grip on wet or slick surfaces. Wear gloves so your hands can be free to catch yourself if you fall.
- Walk carefully: Be careful not to move too quickly on slippery ground. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive safely.
- Walk on designated walkways: If a sidewalk is entirely covered in ice, you may need to walk along the grass next to it. Avoid walking on ledges that don’t offer traction.
- Avoid carrying heavy items: Carrying bulky or cumbersome items can cause you to lose your balance. You may need help carrying big objects, or find ways to safely transport them.
- Watch where you’re walking: You should pay attention to where you’re walking. Avoid texting, using your phone, drinking, or eating when your path is slippery, wet, or covered in snow.
- Watch for risky conditions: In New York, property owners are responsible for removing hazards like ice or snow from their sidewalks. If you see a dangerous condition, report it immediately.
- Exercise caution with the elderly or children: Slip and fall accidents pose extreme threats to seniors and toddlers. Make sure you point out dangerous conditions while walking with these groups of people, and urge them to use caution while walking.
Call a NY Slip and Fall Lawyer Now
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall, whether at a home, in a commercial building, in a store, or in any government or private building, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced New York personal injury attorney. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we have recovered hundreds of millions in damages over 12 years in practice. We are prepared to help you to seek full compensation and to get justice in a slip and fall case.