Ice and snow during winter mean slippery walkways and parking lots. Anyone who has slipped during cold winter weather knows how easy it is to fall accidentally in the normal course of their daily activities. Injuries can range from a minor slip to serious long-term or permanent injuries.
This winter, paramedics, and hospitals have been very busy with slip and fall injuries resulting from icy weather. An article from the Twin Cities, where they routinely face icy conditions, talks about ways in which you can prevent a slip and fall injury during the winter.
What You Wear:: First, you have to prepare yourself for winter weather. Dressing in layers not only protects you from cold weather, but it can also serve as padding during a fall injury and protect you from more severe injury. Just make sure that you’re not so bundled up that you can’t move to protect yourself reflectively or are hindered in your walking. Glare from the snow and ice in the winter can make seeing where you are walking treacherous. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare and to keep you on your toes, literally. And probably the most important step you can take to prevent a slip and fall accident is to wear appropriate shoes. Avoid shoes with smooth leather or plastic soles. In winter you need something with good traction. Or better yet, purchase some spikes that can be attached to your shoes in wintertime. Don’t forget to clean snow and ice off of your shoes to prevent slips when you step inside.
How You Walk:: Simple but smart preventative actions can keep you from falling on the ice. You should always avoid dark or wet looking areas and assume they are slippery. Take small cautious steps and try to keep your hands free, out of your pockets, and free from heavy objects so that you can use your arms for balance. Find something or someone to hold on to. Handrails should be used whenever possible, but asking for help or giving it, especially to elderly who are at greater risk for injury from a slip and fall injury.
What You Do If You Fall: What If you are injured on ice or snow? First, it is important to make sure and call for help or notify someone of your injury. If you are on private property or at work, make sure to advise the property owners, even if you think your injury is not severe. You may later discover that you have some long-term issues. Filing an injury report whether you fall at work or with the manager of a business if you fall in a parking lot, will go a long way to protecting your rights in a slip and fall injury.
Note the conditions where you slip and take down information that may be useful like the names of witnesses, and address of your injury. Get medical assistance. Even if you think you are not seriously injured, it is a good idea to let a medical professional make sure that you have not suffered any long-term or serious injuries. Many businesses and homeowners have insurance to cover the costs of injuries. It is always best to consult with an attorney when you have suffered a personal injury to assess if you are entitled to any money to cover expenses for damages you may suffer as a result of an injury such as time lost from work, medical costs, damage to property.
The legal team at Solberg Stewart Miller in Fargo, ND are experienced in cases of personal injury and can advise you of what to do if you are injured in a slip and fall accident. Contact them at (701) 401-8588