It is an undeniable fact that people have more accidents in winter, particularly slip-and-fall accidents. After all, icy sidewalks and steps, slushy entryways to businesses, and slippery driveways all cause their share of slip-and-fall trauma. How can you protect yourself during the winter months and what should you do if you experience a slip or trip and fall accident?
What Is A Slip-and-Fall Accident?
It may seem obvious that a slip-and-fall accident involves losing your balance and falling, but in reality, there are different types of slips and falls that result in very different levels of injury.
- Same-level falls. The most common type of slip-and-fall is what is known as a “same level” fall. This occurs when someone slips on a surface and falls to the floor or the ground. An example would be when someone is walking on an icy sidewalk and loses his or her balance. While most same-level falls are not as serious as falls from heights, they can still cause serious damage and, in the worst cases, can be fatal, particularly if the victim hits his or her head during the fall.
- Different-level falls. Falls from heights, such as falling down stairs or off a ladder, often result in very serious injury. Depending on the height of the drop and what the victim hits, serious head trauma and other bodily injuries can occur. During the winter, many people experience these types of falls while climbing icy steps. However, different level falls can also occur when someone falls from one level to another of a broken sidewalk, an irregularly lit stairwell, or unmarked level differences in a parking lot.
- Tripping is technically different than slipping, as it implies that something impeded the victim’s movement and caused the fall. Tripping often occurs when someone is moving through a crowded area such as a store that has not put away stock or when floor levels are uneven. Trips can cause just as much damage as falls, although trips are more likely to occur in a forward direction.
How Serious Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents, particularly those that occur on icy surfaces, can lead to serious injury. According to recent statistics, falls account for nearly a quarter of all emergency room visits and are the cause of almost half of accidental deaths in the home. Clearly, fall accidents are more serious than a “minor injury” for many people.
Who is responsible for a slip-and-fall? In some cases, the owner of the property where the fall occurs may be liable. If the property owner did not take care to ensure that walkways, sidewalks, steps, and other areas are safe, the victim may have a claim regarding his or her injuries. This may include money for medical bills, expenses and pain, and suffering.
If you have been the victim of a slip-and-fall accident, contact Barber & Associates today for a consultation. We are ready to help you collect the compensation you deserve.