Winter is a time of beauty and joy but also a time to be careful. Snow and ice can make even the most routine tasks treacherous, such as walking to your car or taking out the trash. Slip-and-fall accidents can be serious, leading to broken bones, head injuries, and other trauma.

Winter slip and fall accidents account for thousands of hospital visits and over a million injuries each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls accounted for 28% of work-related injuries resulting in at least one day off work. The elderly, children, and mobility-impaired individuals are particularly vulnerable during winter, making up the majority of snow and ice-related fall fatalities.


Below are a few tips to help you prepare for winter and avoid slip-and-fall accidents on the icy pavement:


1. Wear appropriate shoes: Firstly, wearing shoes with good traction is key to avoiding slip-and-fall accidents. Instead, opt for shoes with thick, rugged soles and good traction, avoiding high heels, dress shoes, and other footwear with smooth soles. Boots are especially useful in snowy or icy conditions, providing warmth and stability.

2. Give yourself extra time: Secondly, rushing to get somewhere and brisk walking can lead to accidents on icy pavement. Therefore, giving yourself extra time to get where you need to go and taking slow, deliberate steps is important. By walking slowly and carefully, you can maintain your balance and avoid slips and falls.

3. Be aware of your surroundings: Next, pay attention to the conditions around you, such as snow and ice buildup on sidewalks, ramps, and steps. Additionally, be mindful of wet floors inside buildings, as they can also be slick. If you see a potential hazard, consider taking a detour if possible, or tread carefully and take small steps to avoid slipping.

4. Use handrails: Moreover, if handrails are available, they are recommended. Handrails provide additional support and can help you maintain your balance on slippery surfaces. Always use the handrail when walking on stairs or ramps, and hold on tightly when walking on a sloped surface.

5. Clear your walkway: Lastly, if you are a homeowner or business owner, keeping your walkway clear of snow and ice is crucial. Failure to do so could result in liability for any accidents that occur on your property. Make sure to clear your walkway of any snow or ice as soon as possible after a snowstorm, or consider hiring a professional to do it for you.


What to Do After Slip and Fall Accidents


If you have experienced a slip and fall accident, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. Follow these steps:


1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention


After a slip and fall accident, it is important to prioritize your health. Even if you do not immediately feel injured, some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Seek medical attention to ensure proper diagnosis and evaluation of any potential injuries. It is also important to document your injuries for legal purposes.


2. Report the Incident


Immediately notify the relevant authorities. If the accident occurred in a public space, inform the property owner or manager and ensure they record the incident in their accident logbook. Report it to your supervisor or the human resources department if it occurred at work. If the slip and fall resulted from a defective product or equipment, promptly report it to the manufacturer or supplier.


3. Preserve Evidence


Gathering evidence is crucial for a slip and fall accident case. Take photos of the accident scene, including any hazards that caused the fall. Collect witness statements, security camera footage, and any written reports related to the incident. Such evidence will help establish liability in your case.


4. Consult with an Attorney


Slip and fall accidents can be complex, and navigating the legal process can be overwhelming. It is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in slip and fall cases. An experienced attorney will evaluate your case, guide you through the legal proceedings, and work towards obtaining the compensation you deserve.


5. Document Everything


Keep a detailed record of everything related to the incident. This includes medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you incur. Additionally, maintain a record of all communication, such as phone calls, emails, and letters exchanged with relevant parties. Comprehensive documentation will help support your case and ensure accurate compensation for your damages and expenses.


Protect Your Rights After a Slip and Fall Accident


Winter slip and fall accidents are preventable, but they require proactive measures from everyone involved. Being aware of the risks, taking precautionary measures, and ensuring properties are appropriately maintained with clear walkways can help prevent accidents. At the same time, taking immediate action when an accident does occur can help protect victims’ rights and hold property owners accountable. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, reach out to a legal professional to understand your rights and options.

If you or someone you know has suffered a slip and fall accident, talk to a slip and fall personal injury attorney right away to discuss your legal options. Contact Gallon Law at 419-843-6663 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Ohio and Michigan.