Dec 13 2021 |
Slip and Fall Accidents: The Dangers of Ice
As the colder season brings snow, ice, and frost across Ontario, the risk of injuries also increases, even in typically safe and low-risk places, like walkways. One of the most common wintertime hazards is slip and fall accidents. Despite an abundance of warnings to exercise caution while walking, slip-and-falls have become an everyday occurrence. But did you know that many slip-and-falls are caused by another person’s negligence?
What is a slip and fall accident?
Many slip and fall accidents occur due to poor property maintenance, especially in the winter. Often, property owners neglect to clear debris, salt icy stairs and walkways, clear split water in a timely manner, and post clear warnings of dangers ahead. These fall under “premises liability,” wherein property owners can be held liable for failing to clear hazards and properly maintain the property, causing harm to others.
Did you slip and fall due to poorly maintained icy walkways? Keep reading to learn more about the risks of slip and fall accidents, and how personal injury lawyers can help:
The Dangers of Ice and Increased Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries
While most people are able to get back on their feet quickly, others are not as fortunate. From minor bruises and scrapes, to fractures and head injuries, slip and fall accidents should not be taken lightly, no matter how common they have become; if anything, it should be a cause for alarm, indicating poor winter maintenance.
Increased Age-Related Risks
Older people, in particular, are at higher risk of severe slip and fall injuries. Unlike younger people who tend to be stronger and quicker to recover, fractures, concussions, and other trauma can affect seniors more, from longer recovery times to serious health complications.
Slip and fall accidents caused by black ice — a thin coating of glazed ice in shaded areas, such as under trees and bridges — also tend to be more severe because it is barely visible, leading to often unforeseen risk.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
- Bruises and scrapes
- Muscle and ligament strains
- Fractures, including spinal compression
- Broken bones, most commonly the wrists and hips
- Back and neck pain
- Concussions and other head trauma.
What should I do after a slip and fall accident?
The first thing you need to do after a slip and fall accident is seek medical help for your injuries. This is important even if there are no visible signs of major trauma, as internal injuries may still be present. You should also consider documenting the accident, such as taking photos of the site and your injuries.
How a Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer can Help
Once you are in stable condition, it’s worth speaking with a personal injury lawyer. You can discuss your accident, such as where it occurred and the hazards that caused it. A slip and fall accident lawyer can help you file a claim against the property owner who failed to keep the walkway, stairs, driveway, parking lot, and other common areas clear of winter hazards. Your lawyer will prove liability by showing that:
- The property owner was aware of winter hazards
- The property owner neglected proper winter maintenance
- The property owner’s negligence directly caused your slip and fall injuries.
What damages can I claim for my slip and fall accident?
When you file a slip and fall accident claim against a negligent property owner in Ontario, you can also claim damages for the injuries you have suffered, and their impact on your quality of life. This compensation is based on the severity of your injuries, and losses such as wages. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine damages you may be able to recover, such as:
- Medical treatment, including the cost of medication, physical therapy, and other rehabilitation expenses
- Lost current and projected future income
- Lasting physical pain, scarring, and emotional trauma
- Nursing or attendant care, or equivalent time and effort devoted by family members
- Cost of transportation and other associated long-term treatment costs
- Home modifications for wheelchair accessibility
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
How to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
At its most severe, a slip and fall accident can lead to costly and even life-threatening consequences. But all of these can be avoided when everyone does their part to reduce winter hazards and prevent accidents. And as we all do our best to see where we’re walking, here are some common ways to prevent accidents on your property:
- Regular Property Maintenance: Avoid the risk of slip-and-falls by decluttering and repairing damaged walkways, stairs, and landings. Salt walkways ahead of snowfall warnings to prevent ice and snow build-up, and clean up slippery areas right away or make these slip-resistant using non-coat rugs and carpets.
- Proper Lighting: Many slip and fall accidents are due to barely visible hazards, such as black ice. Avoid these by making sure that your property has enough lighting, especially at night.
- Warning Signs: Post warning signs to inform people of potential hazards, such as slippery walkways and wet floors. Proper signages remind people to exercise extra caution in their surroundings, and help prevent accidents as a result. Clear, visible warnings also indicate that you are doing everything possible to eliminate hazards, potentially mitigating liability, while you continue to reduce risks on your property.
- Carry Adequate Insurance: Property insurance includes liability coverage, which can protect you from financial losses due to a slip and fall claim. Make sure to review and upgrade your liability coverage to ensure enough financial cover.
Contact Zayouna Law Firm
Did you suffer a slip and fall accident in Ontario? It is important to note that limitation periods can vary depending on where the slip and fall injury occurred, meaning you may have a limited amount of time to report your accident. You should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after a slip and fall incident.
Our personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim, and seek damages for your injuries and losses. Book a consultation with one of our slip and fall accident lawyers to discuss your accident, and learn about your rights and legal options for seeking compensation. Contact us today to start your slip and fall accident claim.