New Jersey winters aren’t just cold and gloomy but are often icy and dangerous. A slip or fall can come out of nowhere in winter, landing you on your back and in the E.R., often with serious injuries and expensive medical bills.
Statistics show that in areas with severe winter weather, up to a third of worker’s compensation claims are filed after a slip or fall, and these types of accidents account for over 60 percent of all winter injury claims. While not all accidents can be prevented, this blog is a friendly reminder that some of them can. If you find yourself injured after a slip or fall due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact a Passaic county slip and fall attorney at Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli for a free consultation to see if you have a case. Check out 3 ways to avoid slips and falls this winter:
#1: Be on the Lookout for Dangerous Situations
Most slips, trips, and falls happen because on some level we weren’t prepared for them.
Whether you didn’t bother to look down before stepping off the curb onto a slick patch of ice or didn’t notice the wet puddle inside the front door from snow someone tracked in, when you’re taken off guard, you’re far more likely to get injured.
It's important to be mindful of weather conditions and to give yourself more time to get to and from work or other trips. Try to move more slowly if the sidewalks are slick, and pay attention to the terrain around you. If you can, steer clear of unsalted sidewalks, be on the lookout for black ice, and pay attention to surfaces. If you are unsure whether you’re about to step on a slick area, test it first with your toe. And always invest in shoes or boots with good traction and walk only on carefully-cleared areas that have been salted so you can avoid slips and falls.
#2: Be Cautious in High-Risk Areas
While we should of course always be cautious in winter, there are some places where slips and falls are more likely to happen, and we can prioritize safety in these areas.
Always be especially on guard in parking lots, which are by far the most common sites of winter slips and falls, especially when you’re carrying heavy objects while trying to keep your balance. Sidewalks, wooden decks, and cement stairs are other areas that are commonly dangerous in winter. Poorly lighted areas also make it difficult to see when you're about to step into a treacherous situation.
In addition, avoid uneven surfaces, and curbs with ice on them. If you do fall in one of these areas and the property owner has failed to maintain it or warn you of the slippery surface, they may be liable for your injuries. In this case, contact a slip and fall lawyer serving Passaic county: they may be able to help.
#3: Avoid Dangerous Activities
Rushing to your car because you are late to work, carrying heavy objects or groceries over icy areas, and playing around on the ice with your kids are all ways not to avoid slips and falls. Even walking with your hands in your pockets makes it hard to catch your balance before you start to slip. Getting in and out of your car when it’s icy can also be risky, so check the ground before you step in or out.
Finally, remember if you do sustain an injury after a slip or fall, it may not be your fault, even if you were the one who slipped.
If a property owner fails to keep a sidewalk free of ice, a floor of a restaurant or other business dry, or doesn’t clear their parking lot or driveway, and you are injured because of it, they may be guilty of negligence. If an accident happens, take photos of the scene, get medical treatment right away, and contact a personal injury lawyer.
Bavagnoli & Bavagnoli has been helping Northern New Jersey residents with personal injury cases for decades and we may be able to help you as well. Our top priority is always our clients’ recovery and helping you get the compensation you need to heal.
To find out more about your rights after a slip or fall, get in touch with us for a free consultation at (973) 785-9522.