Staying Safe in the Snow: Most Common Winter Personal Injury Claims
There are always risks as we go about our days, but winter provides a wealth of additional opportunities for accidental injury. With icy sidewalks, treacherous roads, falling ice, and more, we must be aware of the potential dangers. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most common personal injury claims that occur in the winter.
Slip and fall accidents
Slip and falls aren’t always just a painful and embarrassing accident – they can be extremely dangerous. Many falls occur in the winter due to business owners that don’t clear snow thoroughly, or at all. Property owners must shovel snow from public walkways within a “reasonable” timeframe. They are not required to have a completely clear sidewalk while a storm is still in progress, but once the storm is ended, they must make a safe pathway for shoppers and passersby. If business owners don’t shovel properly and prevent ice from building up, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur.
Icy roads and auto accidents
Winter storms also lead to icy roads, which cause thousands of accidents each year. When the roads are slippery, every driver has a duty of care to drive as cautiously as possible. Drivers must adjust their speed, brake carefully, and leave plenty of room between their car and the car in front of them. If possible, you should avoid driving in icy conditions altogether unless it is absolutely necessary. We’ve all seen the one driver who is completely ignoring the icy roads and zooms around everyone else. This is how injuries happen. Unfortunately, here in New York this is all too common.
Construction site accidents
Falls are among the most common causes of injuries for construction workers. Once you’ve added snow and ice into an already dangerous job site, you have a recipe for potential disaster. The heights workers must reach on job sites make falls that much more hazardous. This can lead to head injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Even simple snow removal, if it is on an unsteady surface such as decks, scaffolding, or a rooftop, can be an opportunity for serious injury. Job sites must provide their workers with appropriate safety equipment, including additional materials to adapt to snowy conditions. If they fail to provide adequate equipment for construction workers, they can be held accountable for any injuries that result.
Take precautions in the winter
To the best of your ability, take extra care during the winter months. Check your local news station for weekly weather reports and consider checking a convenient app, like the one Weather.com offers, for day-to-day updates. When shoveling your sidewalk, be sure to thoroughly salt so that you don’t allow ice to build up. If you are elderly or have physical limitations, don’t risk it. Paying someone else to do it is a far better solution than suffering a severe injury. Finally, be sure to wear quality winter boots that will protect you from frostbite, slush, and ice.
Contact a New York Attorney
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are well versed in winter accidents and are ready to review your case. Call our office today at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a member of our team.