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Slip & Fall Injuries: Don’t Let the Ice Get You Down

Written by Ankin Law Office

During winter weather, sudden slip and fall accidents caused by icy driveways, sidewalks, and streets put thousands of people in the hospital every year.

Winter Weather Alert: Watch Out for Icy Pavement

Winter weather is here and slip and fall accidents are on the rise. In Chicago, where winter temperatures often drop below freezing, pedestrians face an increased risk for serious slip and fall injuries. It’s common for driveways, sidewalks, and city streets to be covered in thin sheets of ice that cause vehicles to slide off the road and pedestrians to fly off their feet.

When winter brings snow and ice, slip and fall injury lawyers usually see serious orthopedic injuries, especially in elderly adults. Falls on icy outdoor surfaces often result in:

  • Fractured hands, wrists, and ankles
  • Broken arms and legs
  • Neck, back, and hip injuries
  • Disc and spinal cord damage
  • Concussions and head trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

When ice forms on hard outdoor surfaces, it’s often difficult to see from a distance. Many slip and fall victims don’t realize there’s a thin sheet of ice until they lose their footing with little chance of avoiding a hard-impact fall.

Preventing Icy Slip and Falls

Although slip and falls on icy surfaces can’t always be prevented, precautions can be taken to lessen the chances. During freezing winter weather, following helpful prevention tips can prevent falls.

Wearing Proper Footwear

Many winter falls seen by Chicago slip and fall injury lawyers are caused by wearing the wrong footwear with little or no traction. When walking in snow and ice, it’s best to wear boots or shoes with good ankle support and deep tread. Dress shoes, high heels, and sneakers with improper treads should be avoided.

Walking like a Penguin

As silly as it sounds, walking like a penguin with feet flat to the ground and 1-2 feet apart can prevent a serious slip and fall accident. Walking this way keeps the body’s center of gravity pushed forward, which can prevent dangerous backward falls that cause mild concussions, skull fractures, and TBIs with internal bleeding.

Sprinkling Salt or Grit

A slip and fall on an icy driveway, sidewalk, or patio can be just as dangerous as a fall on a Chicago city street. When at home, it’s a good idea to sprinkle a layer of salt, grit, even kitty litter on icy outdoor surfaces to melt the snow and ice and prevent sudden falls and injuries.

Categories: Premises Liability