Central New Yorkers know that when winter comes along, so does the ice, snow, and an increase in slip and fall accidents. As the icy slush covers the roads, our driveways, vehicles, and parking lots, it causes driving and walking hazards making it difficult to go anywhere during the winter months.
The Cold Facts About Slip And Fall Accidents
In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released that there were 34,860 workplace slip and fall injuries that involved ice, sleet, or snow that required at least one day to recuperate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also claimed there were thousands more slip and fall-related injuries during the winter months that were relatively minor and did not require time off from work.
Slips and falls are responsible for approximately 8.9 million ER visits in a year. Slip and fall accidents also account for 20,000 fatalities every year. These numbers tend to rise during the winter with ice covering walkways everywhere you go, especially in Central New York. After motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall injury could range from a couple of minor bruises to a serious head injury. Here’s a look at the most common slip and fall injuries…
- Fractures and sprains – Due to the abrupt movement during a slip and fall, the victim could twist a knee or roll an ankle on the way down. Also, landing roughly on the ground or floor may cause broken bones. For a slip and fall, the most common fractures are in the hand, wrist, forearm, upper arm, leg, and ankle.
- Hip injuries – According to the CDC, over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls. This type of injury may require surgery and hospitalization as well as rehabilitation. Sadly, statistics show one out of five hip fracture patients pass away within a year of their injury.
- Shoulder injuries – If a victim falls hard on their shoulder, the jolt could cause a shoulder dislocation, tear or even nerve damage.
- Back injuries – A slip and fall could cause a slipped or herniated disc, resulting in severe pain and limited mobility. In the worst cases, a slip and fall could ultimately cause paralysis if the spine injury is severe enough.
- Head injuries – The CDC claims that the most frequent cause of traumatic brain injury is a fall. The victim could suffer from a concussion that may resolve after a short period of rest, or a closed head trauma that may be more critical and result in cognitive impairment, seizures, and mood changes.
What to Do Immediately After a Slip and Fall Accident Occurs
Depending on your situation, there are various steps to take immediately after a slip and fall accident, as follows:
- Take care of yourself – Seek medical attention as soon as possible following the fall whether it is by ambulance, driving to the emergency room, going to urgent care, or visiting your personal physician.
- Take photos of the scene – Many of us can’t live without our smart phones so use it to your advantage. Snap a few photos of the location of your slip and fall as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Be sure to capture the surface conditions that existed at the time that triggered your slip and fall.
- Obtain witnesses – If anyone was around when you fell, collect their contact information in case you need them as a witness to your fall or to the surface conditions that existed at the time of your fall.
- File an incident report – If your slip and fall occurred on commercial property, ask an employee or the manager of the establishment for an incident form so you may officially report your accident.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer – Slip and fall lawyers will be able to explain your legal rights and options available to you in a clear and concise manner. You are a victim and most likely in a vulnerable state. A personal injury lawyer will be able to fight for you to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Might Happen Following Your Slip and Fall Accident
After your slip and fall accident, you may be approached by insurance adjusters and lawyers from the property owner of where you were injured. You must remember that these professionals represent the opposing party who wants to give you as little compensation as possible. There is no need to be rude; however, it is recommended that you do not speak with them without first consulting with an attorney. If you are questioned about the slip and fall accident, keep in mind that having casual side conversations may downplay your accident and could be detrimental to your claim. You do not want to say too much. The absolute best thing to do is immediately consult a personal injury attorney to walk you through what you should and should not say or do. Also, do not post information on social media regarding your accident or any resulting injuries. This information may be admissible as evidence in any subsequent litigation.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a slip and fall accident, you need The People’s Lawyer on your side. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman is an experienced personal injury law firm that has helped members of the Central NY community for years. You do not deserve costly medical expenses, pain and suffering or lost wages, especially if the accident is not your fault. Contact a personal injury lawyer at Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman today for a free consultation regarding your slip and fall case.
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