Winter can be a dangerous part of the year. As streets and sidewalks freeze, the risk of slip and fall injuries increases. Icy sidewalks and snow-covered surfaces pose a threat to those walking into retail outlets, work buildings, and apartment complexes. Slip and fall victims are 50% more likely to receive emergency care for falls on inclement weather days.
Knowing what steps to take if you suffer injuries in a slip and fall accident can help you receive compensation for your recovery. Familiarize yourself with actions to take after a slip and fall, including contacting the attorneys at Catalano Law to understand your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Several types of winter hazards can lead to slip and fall injuries. These conditions can turn any sidewalk, parking lot, or walking area into a dangerous place.
- Cooler temperatures lead to moisture in the atmosphere condensing, resulting in fog and lower visibility during the day and at night.
- Wet, frozen, or snowy areas can be slippery and challenging to navigate.
- Snow and ice accumulation can hide steps, cracks, or uneven areas of pavement, which can cause falls.
- Sloped or inclined surfaces become more challenging to descend or climb safely in wet or frozen conditions.
- Stepping on wet leaves can cause a slip and fall.
- Snowy, muddy, or wet shoes can become a slip and fall hazard indoors.
New York State premises liability law requires that property owners and occupants must keep grounds, including sidewalks, parking lots, and other public areas, clear from obvious potential dangers.
Premises owners must salt ice, remove snow, or de-ice public areas, and place warning signs. All buildings should be free from winter hazards that could lead to a slip and fall injury; failure to do so could make premises owners liable for your injury.
If you slip or fall, there are some steps you should take to protect your health and build a liability case that can get you the compensation you deserve.
1. Seek Medical Care
The first and most crucial step is to seek immediate medical care even if you feel fine. Cold temperatures can numb areas of the body, and the traumatic shock of a fall can cause your body to produce adrenaline and endorphins that could block pain.
Many injuries related to slip and fall accidents, particularly neurological injuries, are time sensitive, so it is essential that you visit a doctor for a checkup as soon as possible. If you feel you may be severely injured, call an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital.
2. Report the Incident to Police
After a doctor treats you, report your injury to the police using their non-emergency line. A police investigation will compile your case’s critical facts, such as observed ice on the ground or lack of signage warning of the danger, to produce a detailed report. This report can help you protect your rights and help you seek compensation from those who may be liable.
3. Gather Evidence
In addition to a police report, gathering as much evidence about your fall as possible is vital. Take pictures or videos of the scene. Take photographs that establish the area’s conditions, such as the thickness or ice on the ground. If there is a video camera, take a picture to show that there may be footage of the accident.
Ask witnesses for a statement and keep their contact details for later use. If there is any footage of the incident itself, from bystanders or CCTV, get a copy.
Finally, ask anyone who lives or works near the site to give a statement regarding the area’s history, ask if there have been slips and falls there previously, and what steps the owner or occupier has taken to keep the site safe.
4. Avoid Talking to Other Parties
After your slip and fall injury, refrain from speaking to any other parties in the dispute. Any conversation you have is admissible in court, and depending on what you say and how you phrase certain things, it could negatively affect the outcome of your case. Hire a skilled lawyer to represent you and allow them to handle communication or negotiations.
5. Talk to an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney
You deserve compensation for your slip and fall injury, and a skilled attorney from Catalano Law can help you get what you deserve. Our slip and fall team has the experience and a proven track record of winning money for slip and fall victims. We will help you:
- Gather the right evidence
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Communicate with other parties in the case
- Understand New York law
- Craft a winning strategy
- Get you a fair settlement
If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident, call the attorneys at Catalano Law. We can review your case to determine liability and help you seek a fair settlement for your injuries. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you can get legal representation upfront without worrying about legal fees.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review and learn your legal options.