Preventing Slip, Trips and Falls in the Winter

Winters in Arizona can be severe. Snow falls all over the State of Arizona, along with a great deal of ice covering the ground. It can be especially difficult to prevent a slip and fall accident during this time of year. Even if you do your best to avoid falling, unreasonably dangerous premises could increase your chances of a fall. If you are injured in a slip and fall on ice or snow this winter, find out who may be liable.

Injuries From a Slip and Fall Accident

You may imagine bumps and bruises when you picture a slip and fall accident, but the actual injuries can be much worse. A fall accident can cause surprising injuries, such as a concussion or permanent brain damage. Factors that contribute to the severity of a slip and fall injury include the age of the victim, if he or she had any pre-existing conditions, and the height of the fall.

  • Broken bones
  • Skull fracture
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord fracture
  • Permanent spinal cord injury, such as paralysis
  • Herniated or slipped disc
  • Hip fracture
  • Wrist injury
  • Dislocation
  • Sprain or strain
  • Fatal injury

The injuries from a slip and fall accident can require thousands of dollars in ongoing medical treatments. The patient may also suffer lost wages from having to stay home from work during treatment or recovery. In the most serious cases, slip and fall accident injuries can inflict permanent damage on victims, such as permanent disabilities, debilitations or disfigurements. A Glendale brain injury lawyer can help you determine what damages you can recover after you have suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident.

Prevent a Slip and Fall This Winter

It is always better to prevent a slip and fall accident than to try to recover from one. Pay attention to where you are walking, especially if there is a risk of snow or ice on the ground. Concentrate on the path ahead and do your best to avoid areas with obvious hazards, such as wet leaves or snowbanks. Use several tips to help prevent a slip and fall accident.

  • Wear the right shoes in winter weather. They should have high traction.
  • Clean your shoes when you come inside after stepping on ice or snow.
  • Avoid walking fast, jogging or running on slippery surfaces.
  • Take careful steps and do not make sudden changes in your direction.
  • Be on the lookout for black ice.
  • Keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled.
  • Avoid distractions while walking.
  • Keep one hand on the railing when using stairs.

If you do slip on winter precipitation, try your best to roll with the fall. If you fall forward, try to roll rather than catching yourself with your wrist or arm. If you fall backward, try to catch yourself with your rear rather than your arms. Although it may go against your instincts, try to relax while falling. Your injuries will be less severe than if you tense up when you fall.

Injury Liability for a Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow

No property owner has a responsibility to prevent ice or snow. Property owners do, however, have a legal duty to maintain reasonably safe premises. When it comes to combatting winter weather, this can mean taking steps such as shoveling walkways, using salt to melt the ice, posting caution signs, ensuring the stability of staircase railings and assisting the elderly through tough spots. A property owner must do what a reasonable and prudent party would in the same circumstances to prevent foreseeable slip, trip and fall accidents.

If a commercial business owner, homeowner or the government fails to maintain a reasonably safe premises during one of Arizona’s harsh winters, the owner may be liable for a resultant slip and fall accident. If someone else would have done more to prevent the accident, the landowner may be responsible. In this case, the property owner may owe the victim compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Get help proving your premises liability claim from a personal injury lawyer in Glendale.