Dangers Of Slip And Fall Accidents On Icy Surfaces
Even if you’re wearing good snow or work boots, you can still fall on surfaces that haven’t been treated to prevent ice or shoveled to clear snow. Because Michigan winters are so harsh, ice can accumulate in a number of different places, both outdoors and in covered yet poorly heated areas.
Not all slip and fall injury cases that are caused by ice or snow are eligible for a lawsuit. However, cases where a landlord or property owner has clearly neglected an icy area are usually grounds for financial relief. You need to consult with a specialized personal injury lawsuit to determine if you can file a property insurance claim or a lawsuit to protect your financial interests.
Where can Slip and Fall Accidents Occur?
Slip and fall accidents can happen almost anywhere that is exposed to cold temperatures. Even if there shouldn’t be any water or liquid present, a leaking container or dripping ceiling can introduce water that can then freeze over, leading to slips and falls.
Potential locations for slip and fall accidents include:
- Loading docks and warehouses with low or no heat
- Sidewalks and parking lots
- Porches and patios
- Construction site work areas
- Outdoor steps and stairs
Even if the surface itself is clean and well-maintained, the buildup of ice can still cause residents, employees or visitors to lose their footing and fall. Keeping walkways and work areas clear of ice is the responsibility of the property owner, and failure to monitor areas appropriately can be grounds for a lawsuit.
Types of Injuries
Falls on slippery surfaces happen suddenly, and the victim is often unable to break their fall. In some cases, victims may try to catch themselves, causing fractures in their hands or wrists. Other fractures can occur from blunt impact to the legs or hips.
Back and neck injuries are more common, especially in older adults. Herniated discs, also known as slipped discs, occur when the soft tissue inside of the spine leaks out due to damage to the spinal column. Sprains and strains may also occur if the victim lands hard enough.
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious potential injuries. These injuries can cause loss of mobility or function in the extremities or even the torso. In severe cases, individuals can be paralyzed from the neck down.
Traumatic brain injuries are rare, but can be fatal or leave the victim with permanent brain damage. Skull fractures and concussions can end in severe complications if they are not addressed thoroughly by a medical professional specializing in such injuries.
Recovery from Injuries
Most slip and fall accidents can heal with some assistance from a medical professional. A primary care doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist may work with you to give your injury the support and rest it needs to heal.
Broken bones and slipped discs may require you to miss work or life events for a few weeks. You may even continue to experience pain, discomfort or weakness after the most serious injuries have healed.
In rare cases, slip and fall accidents can be permanent and life-altering. Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are the most common causes of permanent harm, but even very severe broken bones may cause partial disability for the rest of the victim’s life.
The extent of your injuries may not be immediately obvious when the accident occurs. It’s important to seek medical care soon after a slip and fall accident, even if you’re able to walk and continue to work. Minor injuries can quickly become more severe if you aggravate them and don’t take time to rest and heal.
Dealing with Your Slip and Fall Injury
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. There is a three-year statute of limitations, and the clock starts ticking on the day your fall occurs.
The legal team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you win the financial relief you deserve. Even if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation, you may be able to file for more compensation that you otherwise would by filing a negligence lawsuit. Call (866) 868-3779 to talk to a member of our legal team about scheduling a free consultation.