Residents in Southeast Wisconsin can expect snow soon. And, when it falls, so do people. One of the most threatening winter hazards is the potential to slip and fall on patches of ice and snow, causing serious injuries including lacerations, broken bones, and even traumatic brain injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year due to falls, which are the common cause of traumatic brain injuries, costing $31 billion annually in direct medical costs.
If you have ever been injured in a fall, you know the cost isn’t just financial, but can disrupt home life and cause job performance issues.
As the weather in Wisconsin can cause slick sidewalks and roads, it is a good time to review fall prevention strategies:
- ~Plan ahead. Look for the safest route to your destination. Choose an alternate route when necessary, such as avoiding sidewalks covered in ice. If you don’t need to go out, don’t. Wait for the weather and sidewalks to clear.
- ~Allow yourself plenty of time. Your chances of falling increase when you are rushing to your destination.
- ~Wear sensible shoes. Shoes and boots with good traction are a must in the Wisconsin winter. Keep a pair in your car at all times.
- ~Ask for Help. If sidewalks or entrances to sidewalks are unsafe, ask business owners and neighbors to help remove the snow or ice. Businesses and property managers are responsible for ensuring their properties are safe.
- ~Walk consciously. Be alert to the possibility that you could quickly slip on an unseen patch of ice. Avoid the temptation to run to catch a bus or beat traffic when crossing a street.
- ~Pay attention. Be extra careful getting in and out of your car. Watch for cars stopping and sliding in parking lots.
- ~Keep your hands free. Wear gloves so you can keep your hands out of your pockets to help you balance. Avoid carrying heavy loads or children that may cause you to lose your balance.
When a Slip and Fall Causes an Injury
If you do fall and sustain an injury due to slippery conditions caused by the failure of a business owner to clear snow or dry wet floors, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills and any lost time at work.
If your slip and fall happens in a store aisle, you may have a case if the business owner did not exercise reasonable care to maintain the property in anticipation of the dangers posed by snow and ice.
Documentation Is Key
You may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering by filing an insurance claim against the business owner and perhaps the contractor who was responsible for clearing away snow and ice.
However, the need to present a clear and compelling case is a must. In order to do this, you need to present facts. For instance, if you can, take photos or send someone to take photos of the area as soon as possible after the accident in order to preserve how it looked. Snow and ice are cleared on a regular basis, so you would need to show the condition of the area, which will help you prove your case. Also, document any visit to the doctor or ER. Medical records will be of utmost importance in your case, as will proof of missed work or negative impact on your regular activities, such as caring for a family member, chores or property maintenance.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident and you don’t know how to handle the situation at hand? Rest assured, our Wisconsin personal injury lawyers at Casey Law Offices, S.C. are dedicated to helping you survive this difficult time with ease. No matter the complexities of your particular situation, we are tireless in our pursuit of justice on your behalf, and we are committed to fighting for you.
At Casey Law Offices, S.C., we focus exclusively on prosecuting injury claims to ensure negligent individuals and businesses are held responsible for irresponsible behavior resulting in injury. We represent Wisconsinites who have suffered a variety of injuries, including those related to slip and fall accidents due to the failure of businesses to keep the public safe.
Contact us at your earliest convenience by calling (414) 272-5564.