The winter brings with it cold temperatures, ice, and snow. Unfortunately, these conditions are ideal for slip and fall accidents. In the best of conditions, slipping and falling can occur. Find out how winter can worsen your odds of an accident.
How Frequently Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and fall accidents occur more commonly than you might think. Out of all hospital room visits, falling is the most common cause of the visit. With over 21.3% of hospital visits results of falling, the type of accident is quite common. About 12% of fall accidents involve slipping.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve serious injuries. In about 5% of all fall accidents, fractures are the most serious result. Part of the reason for this could be the age of the victims. With one in every three individuals over the age of 65 falling, it is a likely occurrence.
Why Are They So Common?
Generally speaking, slip and fall accidents are common because conditions are unexpected. You can never predict what type of surface you are about to walk onto. In the winter, this becomes even more difficult. Often, ice is invisible until you step on it. When you do, you lose your footing and can fall.
Even when the weather is in your favor, there are many other dangerous conditions. In a building, there could be uneven floorboards, torn carpets, bad lighting, or other issues. Outdoors, there are hidden hazards like potholes and uneven asphalt. Sometimes, cracks in the sidewalk can even result in falling. In the winter, things are worse. You have to look out for those hazards, and you have to look out for ice. If there’s snow on the ground, it could hide other fall hazards.
With so many hazards, it’s no surprise that the winter season results in many slip and falls. The elderly are particularly vulnerable during this time of year. As people become elderly, they become less aware of their surroundings. Their vision often becomes less sharp. Instead of spotting ice before they step on it, an elderly person might not see it. Additionally, the elderly tend to have slow reflexes and poor balance. While a young person might start to slip and recover, an elderly individual might not be able to recover.
The Danger of Falling on Winter Ice
Dealing With This Type of Accident
Although many people don’t realize it, slipping and falling is often the result of an individual or company’s negligence. If you fall on someone else’s personal property, then they might be liable for your injuries. Similarly, if you slip and fall on a business’ property, then they might be responsible. In either case, you need to be able to show that the surface was not reasonably safe. You also need to prove that the owner knew or should have had knowledge that the surface was unsafe.
On public land (like a public sidewalk), the issue can be more complicated. However, it is likely that you can find someone who is legally responsible for your accident. In the case of public land, liability depends on your state’s laws. It could be the municipality or the property owner. Under more rare circumstances, it could be both. However, you don’t need to figure that out on your own. You can speak to a lawyer to find out who is liable.
If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, then you should immediately call a lawyer. You might be eligible for compensation. While eligibility depends on several factors, many people find themselves benefiting from a personal injury claim. You need to speak to a lawyer to find out if you have a case. Then, you can take action and work towards getting the compensation that you deserve.