Preventing Winter Slip and Fall Injuries
Winters in New York City can be severe, and winter weather can result in hazardous conditions due to ice, snow and slush. Wet sidewalks become icy in freezing temperatures, and snow gets tracked into your home as well as in business and retail establishments, making for an increased risk of falls at this time of year. Slip and fall injuries can mean big problems, whether you are the one who is injured as well as if someone is injured on your property. As the worst of the winter weather approaches, here is what you need to know in terms of protecting your health as well as your assets.
Protecting Yourself Against Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over eight million hospital visits each year in this country. These accidents are particularly common among people who are middle aged and over the age of 65, and the results of these falls can be devastating. Injuries related to fall injuries include:
- Muscle strains and sprains;
- Bruising and bone fractures;
- Back injuries, such as ruptured disks; and
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury.
Hip fractures in particular are a common form of injury from slips and falls, and can result in permanent declines in mobility. Protect yourself from being involved in a slip and fall accident by wearing the appropriate shoes in wintery weather conditions, being cautious and aware of wet or icy sidewalks and floors, and using handrails when going up or down stairs.
Maintaining Your Property to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries
As a property owner, you can be held liable for falls that occur at your home or business. You could end up paying out of pocket or through your insurer for hospital bills, medical expenses, and lost wages if someone is injured due to unsafe conditions you fail to address, such as icy sidewalks and slippery floors. Follow these tips from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to ensure your home or business property is safe for visitors and to protect yourself against the threat of lawsuits and increased insurance premiums:
- Make sure all driveways, sidewalks and walkways are free of ice or clutter that could pose hazards;
- Check outdoor areas to ensure there is adequate lighting;
- Install railings on indoor and outdoor walkways and stairwells as needed;
- Use floor mats at entranceways that will absorb ice and slush;
- Mop up any wet areas or spills immediately;
- Make sure all flooring materials are properly secured. Area rugs and throw rugs can prevent serious trip hazards; and
- If your home and business is undergoing construction or renovation, restrict these areas from guests or visitors and post signs in your business notifying customers of potential hazards.
Reach Out to Us Today
At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York real estate and medicaid planning attorneys can help protect your interests and assets, and provide aggressive, professional representation for all your legal needs. With offices in the Bronx and New Rochelle, we are your neighborhood law firm, offering efficient and effective legal service our clients can count on. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.