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Legal Blog

Winter Slip and Fall Accidents

Published: Feb 14, 2017 in Personal Injury

It may feel like you have been suffering through winter for ages, but unfortunately, the season is not quite finished. Throughout February, you can expect temperatures as high as 60 and drastic lows of around 30 degrees. With these temperatures comes a decent amount of rain and possibly more snowfall. The combination of moisture with chilly temps will undoubtedly lead to ice, which is a major contributor to slip and fall accidents. These accidents can result in serious injuries and if you fall on a person or business’s property, it may be because the owner or manager of the premises did not take sufficient precautions or properly care for the walkways. This may be particularly true if no one cleared the snow or attempted to prevent or remove the ice.

If you have been hurt in a fall, consider contacting the Belleville slip and fall lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC at (618) 767-6293. It is important that you understand your rights and the potential to recover compensation for your injuries.

Falls Can Be Serious and Deadly

If you are older, slipping and falling is much more likely to lead to a significant injury and lower your quality of life. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 5 falls for individuals over the age of 65 results in a serious injury, and more than 2.8 million elderly people are treated in emergency rooms every year for fall-related injuries. Additionally, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures.

However, while falls are particularly dangerous for the elderly, they are hazardous for everyone. Common injuries from slip and fall accidents include:

  • Broken bones, including wrists, arms, ankles, and hips
  • Knee injuries
  • Strained or torn muscles and ligaments
  • Concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Lacerations and scarring
  • Spinal cord injuries

Property Owners’ Responsibilities

According to the premise liability law in Illinois, all owners or property managers owe their guests and customers a duty of reasonable care regarding the state of the property or the acts done on them. This means keeping the property reasonably safe for other individuals, though it does not necessarily mean fixing every little problem immediately. Obvious hazards that others would notice can be left for a period of time or simply warned about, like with a “Wet Floor” sign.

With winter weather comes particular responsibilities for homeowners, businesses, and municipalities under this duty of reasonable care. Winter weather leads to snow build up and ice on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and other pathways. Municipalities, businesses, and homeowners are responsible for clearing the snow and ice away and doing what they can to reduce the risk of slippery surfaces. Owners who ignore winter hazards that put you and other guests and customers at risk may be negligent under the premise liability law and responsible for your injuries.

Slip and Falls Cause a Significant Financial Burden

No matter your age, you can suffer serious and debilitating injuries from a slip and fall. These injuries can cause a great deal of pain and keep you away from work for weeks or months. Depending on your injuries, you may need accommodations when you return to work or you might have to look for a new job entirely. Without being able to work, you lose out on the income you need to pay your daily bills let alone the medical expenses from the fall. If you are unable to return to your job and are looking at earning a lower income moving forward, your entire financial future has changed. On top of the medical debt, you may need to change your lifestyle to fit with your new income.

If your slip and fall was caused by someone not taking care of their property and fixing winter-related hazards, you may have the right to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, reduced earning potential, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Call Our Belleville Slip and Fall Attorneys Today

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, call us at Cates Mahoney, LLC, as soon as possible. We have years of experience in premises liability cases and will analyze your case to determine your legal options and potential to recover compensation. We have a proven track record of success for our clients and will work to protect your best interests.

Contact us today at (618) 767-6293 or online to schedule a free initial consultation.