Winter in the Pacific Northwest means many days (and nights) with ice and snow on the ground. These slippery conditions means a dramatically increased risk for a slip and fall accident on icy walkways. Simple preventative measures on the part of walkers and property owners can help reduce the chances of a serious slip and fall injury.
How to prevent a slip and fall accident on icy walkways
- After a cold winter night walk cautiously and keep your eye out for shiny spots on the road.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking – use gloves or mittens instead to keep your hands warm. Moving your arms naturally back at forth at your sides helps to maintain balance.
- You may not be able to control walkways on other people’s property but you can on your own. Sprinkle a mixture of rock salt and cat litter on slippery stairs and walkways. The salt melts ice and the cat litter provides traction.
- Businesses may choose to use heated safety mats on walkways to prevent a slip and fall accident on their premises.
Slip and fall accidents on ice statistics
Falls on icy walkways are often caused by a rush to complete errands, start work or to get inside where it is warm.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, unintentional slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of nonfatal injury in the United States for all age groups except 10-24. (For this age group unintentional falls are the second leading cause of nonfatal injury).
Some victims of slip and fall accidents walk away relatively unscathed but one out of five incidents leave people with serious injuries like bruised tailbones, head injuries or hip fractures. In fact, the majority of traumatic brain injuries are caused by a slip and fall and more than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year for slip and fall accidents.
Senior adults over the age of 65 are particularly susceptible to slip and fall accidents and serious injuries. Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures with more than 95 percent of hip fractures caused by falling.
The CDC estimates that medical expenses associated with slip and fall injuries cost about $34 billion each year. If you have pain and suffering, lost wages and/or medical expenses from a slip and fall injury that occurred through the negligence of a property owner you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you are able.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!