Winter Is Prime Time for Slip and Fall Accidents
Winter is coming and along with it a whole slew of possible accidents. Bad weather, snow, and ice, along with property owners’ negligence, means that you are at risk of falling and becoming badly injured.
In states where ice and snow are commonplace at this time of the year, such as New York, even if you are careful, you might not be able to avoid a slip and fall accident. You must rely on others to fulfill their duties to keep their premises safe for you.
Fast Facts on Slip and Fall Accidents in New York
The New York Department of Health recently released some statistics related to slip and fall cases in New York. These are the most glaring ones:
- 52,763 hospitalizations are attributed to slip and fall cases every year.
- Injuries from slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children between 0 and 14 and adults aged 25 years and above.
- One of the leading causes of unintentional deaths for individuals aged 45 and older are attributed to slip and fall incidents.
- The Department has found that slip and fall incidents are not always accidental but actually are preventable as they have specific risk factors for identifiable population groups with predictable patterns.
What Causes Many of the Slip and Fall Accidents in New York?
The list below shows some of the predictable risk factors that often cause slip and fall cases:
- Broken or unevenly paved sidewalks or stairs/steps
- Liquid or debris on the floor or in the entrance of a store
- Snow or ice that is not shoveled
- Water leaking from underground and seeping to the floor area
- Uncleared debris from ongoing construction work
- Inadequate lighting on a walkway or sidewalk
- Lack of proper maintenance (icing, snow, or debris removal) on stone pathways
- Failure to post warning signs as to the slippery nature of the area
Who is Responsible for Your Slip and Fall Accident?
There are two sides to a slip and fall case. There is the victim, the one who gets hurt, and the property owner where the incident occurred.
Property owners, landlords, tenants, and others have responsibilities to maintain the safety of their premises. According to legally required standards, when they fail to act reasonably, and someone is injured, the victim might have a legal claim for negligence. Slip and fall claims that result from negligence fall under premises liability law.
Negligence by a property owner that might result in your slip and fall accident can include things such as:
- Failing to clean spills promptly and efficiently
- Failing to warn of dangerous conditions inside or outside on the property
- Failing to fix uneven surfaces
- Having poorly lit grounds
Any of these situations can result in a bad slip and fall accident and severe injuries.
If you do suffer from a slip and fall, what should you do?
Steps to Take After You Slip and Fall on Someone’s Property
Call 911. The first instinct is to prevent any further injuries from occurring. Thus, a call to emergency medical services would be the first step to take when this preventable problem occurs. This would also help determine the extent of and the gravity of injuries resulting from the slip and fall incident.
Preserve the Evidence. This would entail taking pictures of the area as well as taking statements from others within the vicinity. You will eventually need to use your medical records to show how grave your injuries are.
Get legal advice. This is a step that would help in protecting your rights. Negotiating out of court for a settlement may be an option, and it is best to have experienced slip and fall personal injury lawyers on your side. We can help you navigate your claim and help ensure you receive the compensation your injuries warrant.
Tips for Avoiding Slip and Fall Injuries
If you get injured on someone’s property, you might have legal remedies and the opportunity to collect compensation to cover your medical expenses and other injuries you suffer.
But, no one wants to get hurt. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe this winter:
- Walk slowly and surely using slip-resistant footwear.
- Be careful when disembarking a vehicle or when getting onto one.
- Use handles or handrails when possible.
- Watch out for slippery floors.
- Avoid filling your arms with items or having your hands in your pockets as this can prevent you from holding on to something if you do slip and lose your balance.
- Avoid uneven surfaces, especially inclines, as these are the top risks for slip and fall cases.
Contact Our Slip and Fall Lawyers For a Free Case Evaluation
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident, call our experienced premises liability and personal injury lawyers at Levine and Wiss, PLLC. We can help you get started on the road to recovery. Call us today at 888-GET-HURT for a free evaluation of your slip and fall claim.