Connecticut winters are often harsh and low temperatures bring hazards for pedestrians. 2013 has been a particularly difficult year, as Nemo pummeled the east coast and blasted the Connecticut with heavy snow, ice and wind. Wintery conditions create special hazards for people around the state. Icy and snowy walkways increase the risk of people slipping, falling and injuring themselves. Of course, winter weather is not the only cause of slip-and-fall accidents. Falls can happen anywhere - even when walking indoors. Here are some safety tips that may help prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
- Maintenance: Property owners should make sure their property is free of snow and ice, as well as spills and other debris. Additionally, property owners should provide adequate lighting along walkways and ensure that walkway surfaces are not broken or missing pieces.
- Awareness: Pedestrians can reduce fall risk by being aware of their surroundings and taking note of the conditions. People can take note of low-lying or shaded areas that may be particularly icy or snowy, as well as any impediments in their paths
- Adjustment: People should adjust their walking pace to meet the conditions by slowing down if the path is icy or snowy.
- Footwear: Pedestrians should choose boots or sturdy shoes when they need to walk outside in winter weather in order to decrease the likelihood of falling.
What to do after a slip
No matter the precautions, people still fall on slippery conditions. After a person has fallen, it there is an injury, the injured person should notify the property owner or manager of the incident. The victim should also collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the fall.
In order to recover for injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall, a person generally must prove that there was a hazard on the property, the property owner knew or should have known of the hazard and the property owner did not remedy the hazard. Taking pictures can be crucial to proving a claim. After a fall, a person should immediately take pictures of the defect that caused the fall both up close and at distances further back such as three feet and 10 feet away. A person should also photograph the surrounding area to show where the defect is with respect to the nearest landmark like a building, road or sign.
A person should also take photographs of any injuries he or she sustained immediately, as well as each week that passes, to document the extent of the injuries. A person should seek medical attention for injuries if necessary. People should be aware that some injuries may take a few days to manifest themselves.
Speak with a lawyer
After a slip-and-fall accident, consulting a lawyer is crucial. An attorney can help collect evidence and evaluate the merits of a case, as well as pursue the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured because of a fall, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the incident to protect your rights.