The holiday season is upon us and so is the risk of slip-and-fall injuries. According to the National Safety Council, nearly 9 million ER visits are caused by falls every year, and the risk multiplies in winter due to all the ice and snow on sidewalks, roads, and parking lots.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep the risk of an ugly holiday slip-and-fall down.
How to Prevent Slip and Falls This Holiday Season?
The last thing you want this holiday season is a serious injury caused by a slip and fall accident. Hopefully, there are several steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from a slip and fall this winter.
- Wear the right shoes. The best shoes you can wear in the winter are those with rubber soles and good traction. Avoid heels and leather-soled footwear when navigating icy patches on sidewalks, roads, or parking lots.
- Keep your hands free. It is critical to keep your hands free to break a fall when navigating a wet or icy patch. Never keep your hands in your pockets. If you need to keep yourself warm wear an appropriate pair of gloves.
- Avoid heavy loads. When holiday shopping, avoid hauling heavy loads on slippery surfaces as the risk of serious injury in a slip and fall quadruples. Carry the loads in a shopping cart or a folding grocery cart.
- Test the ground. If a surface looks slippery, test the ground before confidently walking on it.
- Don’t run. Even if you are in a hurry, never run across a slippery or uneven surface. Walk slowly and with care as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Make use of nearby supporting props. If door handles, handrails, walls, and other supporting objects are available don’t shy away from using them to maintain your balance and prevent a trip or fall.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted on icy patches. Always watch where you walk and build situational awareness. A slip and fall accident is more likely to happen when your eyes and hands are glued to a smart device.
- Don’t forget about eyewear. If your vision is not in top shape, use eyeglasses to clearly see any potential hazards. Also, on bright days with snow, use sunglasses.
- Exercise. Make sure that you are in optimal physical shape when battling icy or wet surfaces. Balance exercises work wonders when it comes to maintaining balance and a good posture especially if you are in your golden years. Seniors have the highest risk of slip and fall accidents and the worst outcomes when such accidents occur.
- Be pro-active. If you noticed an icy patch or another slip-and-fall hazard on private property, report it to the property owner or manager.
I Had a Slip and Fall Accident: What’s Next?
Private property owners, business owners, and to some extent even the government has a legal obligation to keep their premises free of known slip-and-fall hazards to prevent accidents. Under this obligation, people and entities are required to shovel off snow, create safe paths on sidewalks, mopping up water that might turn into ice, and salting the roads. Also, property owners and business owners are also required to place warning signs if a patch is slippery or wet.
If you were severely injured in a slip and fall accident because of a third party’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering.
You can have your case reviewed and see what your chances of winning such a case are by contacting a slip-and-fall injury attorney. Since most of these professionals work on a contingency fee basis, you won’t be charged unless they win your case.
Get much-needed help with those climbing medical bills and request a consultation with a slip and fall injury lawyer today!