From the time we take a step to the time we are flat on our back takes less than a second. While a slip and fall accident takes less than a second, the injuries from a slip and fall can last a lifetime. With Winter here, sidewalks and floors will be wet for the next six months – putting everyone at a higher risk of slip and fall injury.
In an ideal world, sidewalks, walkways, and entryways will have sufficient texture to easily withstand water without causing unreasonable slipping hazards. Sadly, many floors and walkways do not have sufficient texture, putting pedestrians and customers at high risk of encountering slippery surfaces and resulting in slip and fall injuries.
There are several types of injuries caused by slip and fall injuries:
Injuries from slips on ice and falls caused by snow and ice during the winter are usually fractures and sprains. While most of these injuries are usually minor and easily treated, there are some fractures that are not always immediately obvious:
If you slip on ice for example and try to break your fall with your hands, it can result in a fracture of a small bone near the thumb called the navicular bone. Fractures of the navicular may not show up on x-rays for up to six weeks after a fall.
Landing on your elbow can cause a “chip fracture” of an area known as the epicondyle of the humerus (the upper arm bone). Like navicular fractures, these injuries are sometimes difficult to detect by x-ray but can lead to long-term problems with the elbow.
A fall where you land on your buttocks can result in a compression fracture of the vertebrae in the lower back, which can lead to a lifetime of pain and disability.
Injuries from falls due to slipping on snow and ice are preventable if the property owner stays alert and takes measures to prevent their buildup. Since this is not always the case, an injury such as those mentioned here can occur.
Slipped on Ice? Follow these five steps
A slip or a fall on ice can be devastating. The most common personal injuries are a broken wrist or broken ankle, but more serious injuries such as a hip fracture or skull fracture can also occur. A slip and fall accident can be serious due to the momentum generated by the slippery surface of the ice and the impact with the ground.
If you have suffered a personal injury in a slip and fall on ice (or even snow) there are five steps you should take right away.
- Get prompt medical treatment for your injuries. Be sure to tell the hospital or doctor that the fall was caused by ice or snow.
- Take photographs of the icy condition that caused the fall.
- Make sure you know the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Notify the property owner or responsible party of the fall.
- Consult with an experienced personal injury or accident attorney before you give a statement that could end up hurting you.
Recovering from a Slip and Fall on Ice
Some slip and fall victims are so clearly hurt that they rush to the emergency room right away. Others try to wait it out, perhaps going to the ER or their own doctor once they realize that they’re not feeling any better. In either case, you will undergo a physical exam. You might need X-rays, an MRI, or another diagnostic test to determine what damage you sustained.
Some slip and fall injuries can be healed primarily with physical therapy or chiropractic care. Others might be serious enough to require more extensive treatments. You may have to undergo surgery.
Rehabilitation from a slip and fall injury can take months, especially if you had to get surgery. During that time, you’re in so much pain and experiencing such significant physical limitations that it’s hard to live your life.
So if a landlord allows snow to accumulate, or fails to de-ice common areas, they may be responsible for the injuries suffered by a tenant that falls. Snow and ice falls generally present a number of challenges and if you have been injured due to a fall, you should always speak with an attorney who can help you navigate this confusing and varied area of the law.
The Indiana Personal Injury Attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs are skilled at representing clients and their family members injured in personal injury accidents. It often takes legal action to receive fair compensation in these cases. Contact Glaser & Ebbs to learn more about your legal rights and options.