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Slip and Fall Accidents During Winter Months

Published: Jan 23, 2017 in Personal Injury, Premises Liability

During winter months, icy, wet, or snowy pavements can increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. Winter weather leads to slippery surfaces, which means that entryways, parking lots, stairs, and other walkways must be regularly cleared and properly maintained to avoid potentially unsafe conditions. Snow and ice are a significant factor in slip and fall accidents during the winter season and account for thousands of injuries each year.

Dangers of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accident injuries can vary greatly in their severity. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the third leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and one out five falls results in a serious injury such as fractures or a brain injury. In fact, data from the CDC indicates that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury.

Over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year for non-fatal fall-related injuries. The most at-risk group for slip and falls are people 65 or older. Medications, lower body weakness, difficulties balancing, vision problems, increase the risk of falling among older adults and winter conditions can worsen the likelihood of an injury even further.

Some of the most common types of injuries include:

  • Sprains, strains, or tears
  • Bruises, abrasions, lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Back injuries
  • Mild, moderate, or severe TBIs

Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014, falling snow, ice accumulation, and sleet contributed to 42,480 workplace injuries. Of all winter-related injuries to workers that year, 82 percent were due to slips, trips, or falls on the same level.

Safety Tips

The following precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents during winter months:

  • Wear appropriate footwear (i.e. non-slip soles) that provide traction on snow, icy, or wet surfaces.
  • Take small, slow steps on icy or snow-covered walkways.
  • Try to walk on designated walkways whenever possible.
  • Avoid distractions while walking
  • Provide yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Avoid putting your hands in your pocket because it may impact your balance.
  • Use handrails whenever they are available.
  • Remove snow and ice from your footwear when approaching entranceways.
  • Avoid carrying objects when walking on icy, wet, or snowy walkways.
  • Test potentially icy or slippery surfaces by tapping your foot on the area.

Premises Liability Law – Slip and Fall Accidents

Alabama premises liability law requires business and property owners to exercise reasonable care in keeping their premises in a safe condition. This means that property owners have a duty to maintain their premises and warn customers/visitors about a dangerous condition of which the owner knew or should have known existed.

Property owners that fail to take reasonable measures to prevent slip and fall accidents due to winter conditions, may be held liable for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on their premises. In a premises liability case involving a slip and fall accident, the plaintiff must prove that:

  • The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition
  • The owner failed to fix the dangerous condition or warn about its existence
  • The dangerous condition caused your injuries

Contact Our Alabama Slip and Fall Attorneys

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident that you believe was caused by a property owner’s negligence, contact the Alabama premises liability attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. right away. We have 65 years of collective experience representing injured victims, including slip and fall accident cases. We are skilled and aggressive negotiators who will work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident, call the premises liability injury lawyers from Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at (205) 933-1500 or use our online form. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses.

To find out more about how we can best represent you, learn how our Montgomery premises liability lawyers, Mobile premises liability lawyers, Huntsville premises liability lawyers, and Birmingham premises liability lawyers can help you. Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 for a free consultation.