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What You Need to Know About Winter Slips, Trips, and Falls

Cold weather-related slip, trip, and fall accidents caused by cluttered
walkways, unkept sidewalks, and slippery entryways are particularly common
at residential and commercial properties this time of year. These weather-related
issues remain one of the top causes of unintentional injuries that send
millions of Americans and thousands of Hoosiers to emergency rooms every
year. Business and residential owners, as well as state and local municipality
leaders, have a responsibility to clear snow and prevent ice from building
up in these walkways.

Negligence from managing covered or slick pathways can lead to both minor
and major injuries to innocent passers.

It’s important to know that several Indiana communities do have city
ordinances which require homeowners and businesses to clear the sidewalks,
stairs, and areas in front of and adjacent to their properties within
a certain time frame.

5 Easy Ways to Watch Your Winter Step

While we can’t avoid every slippery surface, we can try your best
by practicing simple fall prevention steps like allowing more time to
walk somewhere and watching where your winter step might be landing. When
you are navigating your way on potentially slippery walkways be sure to:

  1. Avoid carrying small children, heavy loads, and items that may block your view.
  2. Slow down, bend your knees a bit, and take shorter steps.
  3. Do not ever run or exercise on ice.
  4. Wear shoes or boots with good traction and treads.
  5. Follow signage and find the safest route and place your full attention
    on it. This means to refrain from being distracted by your cell phone
    while walking.

If you find yourself beginning to slip, try your best to not put all the
pressure on your hands to break your fall. Wrist fractures are the most
common injury seen by medical professionals during winter months. Here
are a few other common injuries caused by slick walkway conditions:

  • Back, neck and shoulder injuries
  • Concussions or other brain injuries
  • Dislocations of joints
  • Muscle strains
  • Severe cuts and bruises
  • Twisted or broken ankles
  • Wrist and hand fractures

In addition, slip, trip, and fall accidents are a leading cause of traumatic
brain injury (TBI). TBI is a major cause of death and disability for 1.7
million people living in the United States. This life-changing injury
also contributes to about 30 percent of all injury deaths, leaving victims’
families with feelings of grief and emotional stress, and financial burdens. The
warning signs of a brain injury can vary from person to person and are dependent upon the severity. Here
are distinct symptoms to look for:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty thinking or speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness for any amount of time
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech

Proving the effects of these injuries in court can often be difficult,
so it is important to receive medical help as soon as you have been injured
or suspect a slip, trip, or fall-related injury.

If you do see an unsafe, icy condition let the responsible party know immediately
to prevent others from falling and injuring themselves. If you are the
person responsible for the prevention and removal of ice on a property,
continue to manage icy areas to prevent falls and injuries that could
ultimately wreak havoc onto others.

Contact a Wagner Reese Slip, Trip, and Fall Attorney Today

Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your premises liability or slip
and fall accident claim with years of experience and proven results and
over 60 years of combined experience. We handle cases involving
landlords, businesses, and property owners that have caused an injury due to negligence may be in violation of housing
codes, local ordinances, or national safety standards that have resulted
in injuries. In the case of TBI, we utilize our specialized neuropsychological
testing facilities to identify and treat brain injuries and gather the
evidence we need to secure the largest amount of compensation possible.

If you would like legal advice after a slip, trip, or fall winter accident,
call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation. You can also
share additional details with us by
submitting our online form.