Between wet, slippery leaves that were never raked up, freezing rain that coats every surface in ice, and uneven piles of snow, winter is a season for slips, trips, and spills. And unfortunately, slipping and falling on a wet or icy surface isn’t just embarrassing, it can cause serious, painful injuries!
Slips and falls send more than a million people to the emergency room every year, and visits tend to increase in the winter, especially in cold climates like New York. One in five falls results in a serious injury, such as a head injury or broken bone, and slips and falls are the leading cause of lost days at work!
Slips and Falls Injuries Are Preventable
Our New York slip and fall attorneys can help you get compensation for your emergency room bill and for the paychecks you miss out on while recovering from a fall that wasn’t your fault. But we firmly believe it’s always better to avoid an injury in the first place whenever possible.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of tips to follow this winter to help you avoid a dangerous fall whenever venturing out into the elements.
7 Tips for Staying Safe in Icy and Snowy Conditions
- Always wear appropriate footwear. Choose shoes and boots with ridged or heavily textured soles in place of heels or shoes with smooth soles.
- Walk flat footed rather than heel first. This will help keep your feet from slipping on ice by distributing your weight more evenly.
- Brace one hand against your vehicle for support whenever entering or exiting it, and exit on the side facing away from traffic whenever possible.
- Wipe your shoes off before entering a building. Leaving a trail of mud or snow behind you can create puddles that may cause others to slip and fall.
- Avoid taking exterior stairs whenever possible, and always use the handrail when alternate options aren’t available.
- Avoid talking on your phone or carrying anything in your arms while walking. Keep your hands free to help balance yourself and carry your items in a backpack instead.
- Report any dangerous conditions such as accumulated snow and ice or puddles on the floor to the property owner or manager as soon as you notice them.
How Property Owners Can Help Keep Visitors Safe This Winter
- Be prepared – monitor the weather, and have shovels and salt or sand on hand.
- Make a plan! Determine what entrances and walkways will need to be cleared first in the event of snow, how often they should be cleared, and who on your team will be responsible for clearing them. Be prepared to have them cleared before the rest of your employees and customers arrive.
- Install slip-resistant flooring materials around entryways, such as grooved rubber floor mats.
- Identify and mark curbs, steps, ramps, and other elevation changes that may become hidden by snow.
- Keep your property well-lit, especially walkways, stairwells, and the parking lot, so that trip hazards are more clearly visible to visitors.
- Install wet floors signs where puddles may accumulate, such as near entrances.
- Conduct frequent walk-throughs to identify slipping hazards.
Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Call Catalano Law!
Slips and falls can cause concussions, broken limbs, fractured hips, and spinal injuries, to name a few common injuries. They are no laughing matter!
If you were injured because a property owner failed to take sufficient measures to clear ice and snow from their property or warn visitors about wet floors inside their building, they can be held responsible for your accident-related expenses.
If you are unsure whether your slip and fall accident is eligible for compensation, contact our firm. Your initial consultation is always free!