Statistics show that 1 million Americans are hurt from slip and fall injuries every year. During the winter, the chances of slip and fall injuries rise dramatically. In Ohio, we know that our winters are no joke, and neither are the injures that the winter elements can inflict.
While some accidents are avoidable, trips, slips and falls become much more hazardous during the winter months. Snow, ice, and freezing temps in the winter multiply the number of wet and slippery surfaces at work and the potential for accidents.
According to the CDC, unintentionally falling is the leading cause of nonfatal injury across all age groups except 10-24. In that age group, unintentionally falling is the second leading cause of nonfatal injury.
If you are the victim of a recent slip and fall injury while on somebody else’s property, you may be curious about what your rights are legally. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about slip and fall accidents on someone else’s property as we head into the winter months.
What is “slip and fall”?
Slip and fall is a term used for a personal injury case where someone slips or trips and gets hurt on someone else’s property. These types of cases typically fall under a broader category of cases called “premises liability” claims. Slip and fall accidents commonly happen on property or premises owned or maintained by somebody else, and the property owner may be legally responsible for damages.
Winter risk factors for slip and fall injuries
- Ice and snow
- Freezing rain creates slick sidewalks, walkways, and roads
- Lowered visibility from snowstorms and less daylight
What to do after slipping on ice on someone else’s property
- Use handrails to help yourself get back up, if available.
- Use your cellphone to call for help if you cannot get up or call 911 if you are hurt.
- Contact a personal injury attorney ASAP to ensure you collect the proper documentation and start building your case.
Proving fault in winter slip and fall cases
An experienced personal injury attorney will be vital to assure you receive the compensation you deserve from your slip and fall accident. There is no formula for securing damages after a slip and fall injury. You must prove that the property owner was negligent and did not maintain their property in a way that created a safe environment. An attorney will walk you through this process and make sure you have the proper documentation to build a strong case.
- You must prove that a “dangerous condition” caused your slip and fall and that the property owner knew about the hazard.
- The dangerous condition must also present an unreasonable risk to the person on the property. It must have been a condition that you (the injured person) could not have anticipated. To prove that the property owner knew about the dangerous situation, you must show that:
- The owner created the condition or
- The owner knew about the condition and negligently failed to fix it or
- The condition existed for such an amount of time that the owner should have discovered and fixed it before the incident in question happened.
To receive damages for a slip and fall injury sustained on someone else’s property, there has to be a responsible party whose negligence is to blame for the injury.
Preventing winter slip and fall accidents
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), winter weather kills more than twice as many Americans than summer heat. Keeping yourself aware of the increased risk cold weather brings will help you prevent winter-related injuries and keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some simple things you can do to avoid slipping and falling on ice this winter:
- Wear sensible footwear: Winter is not the time to worry about the Fashion Police. Wear footwear that will keep your feet warm, and that has proper grip to stop you in case you start to slip. Wear boots or sturdy shoes with textured soles to give you more traction on ice and slippery surfaces.
- Take your time: Whether driving or walking, give yourself more than enough time to get from point a to point b. This will allow you not to feel rushed and safely get to your destination.
- Use handrails: Handrails are there for a reason. Use them. Handrails can keep you upright and help you regain your balance should you start falling.
Common ice slip and fall injuries
Injuries sustained from a slip and fall on an ice pathway or snow-covered driveway can be severe. Common injuries from slips and falls on ice or snow include:
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Injuries are expensive, and the more severe the injury, the bigger the hit to your pocketbook. Medical bills, lost wages, the toll from pain and suffering can all add up to become extremely burdensome. If you believe your slip and fall injury was at the hands of the property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. You must contact a slip and fall attorney to build your case.
Contact a slip and fall attorney today
If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall on someone else’s property and are contemplating a legal claim, you should review your case with a seasoned attorney. You should do so quickly because there are time limits on when you may file a personal injury lawsuit.
Most people mistakenly believe if they slip and fall on someone else’s property and get hurt, the property owner becomes automatically responsible for their medical bills. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In order for the property owner to be legally responsible for your injuries, you must prove their negligence. At Friedman, Domiano & Smith Co., our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for your case, so you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t fight the case alone, and don’t give up on receiving the damages you are entitled to. Contact us today.
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