Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice and Snow

Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice and Snow
Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice and Snow

In the northern Midwest, winter brings bitterly cold temperatures and frozen precipitation. Frequent snow and ice storms lead to slippery surfaces inside and outside. 

Unfortunately, every year, many people are injured due to slip and fall accidents on ice and snow that should have been removed or addressed by property owners. When you suffer a slip and fall injury on ice or snow due to someone else’s negligence, you have the legal right to recover your financial losses from the responsible party. 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury after slipping on ice or snow, keep reading to learn more about slip and fall accidents in general and how to protect your legal right to compensation. For more specific information about your unique circumstances, reach out to an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Wisconsin today.

How Often Do People Slip and Fall on Ice and Snow?

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that almost a million people slip on ice and snow every year, and attributes 17,000 deaths to these falls. In cold weather climates such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, we can expect months of severe weather, often including accumulations of snow and ice. 

While many people slip and fall on icy sidewalks and parking lots, these accidents can also happen indoors. As people enter public spaces like stores and office buildings, they drag in snow that melts and causes puddles of water in the entryway. Depending on the conditions, these puddles can refreeze into ice, creating another hazard inside the building.

How Are Ice and Snow Slip and Fall Situations Created?

Three main factors usually cause ice and snow accumulations that can lead to a slip and fall scenario: weather, environment, and human involvement.

Ice and Snow Slip and Fall Situations

In the upper Midwest, we can expect six to eight months of winter weather including icy rain, snow, hail, and even blizzards. When these conditions arise, we have to exercise extra care while traveling, walking, and even as part of property maintenance.

As snow melts and refreezes overnight, ice can form in unexpected places. Black ice is a serious concern. Since you cannot easily see it, it can cause extra dangerous conditions. 

Environmental Conditions

Whether someone fails to properly clear a sidewalk or parking lot, or if the area was poorly constructed, dangerous ice and snow accumulations can lead to severe injuries when someone slips and falls to the ground. 

In most states, property owners are required to remove snow and ice from their premises within 12 to 24 hours after the snowfall ends. When they fail to do so, people can fall and suffer injuries that the property owner may need to pay for. Proving liability can be complicated, but a skilled slip and fall attorney may build a solid case in many situations. 

Human Involvement

Whether they wore inappropriate footwear or did not look where they were going, the fall victim may bear some responsibility for the accident. If you wonder whether your actions contributed to your slip and fall, reach out to a knowledgeable fall injury attorney to learn more. 

What Injuries Are Caused By Slipping on Ice and Snow?

The most serious injury suffered by those who slip and fall is a head injury, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Back and spinal injuries are common due to the sudden impact.

People also break bones, especially hips, wrists, and arms as they try to catch themself before hitting the ground. Elderly people are most susceptible to breaking bones, but anyone can suffer a fracture depending on how they fall.

What Is Premises Liability and How Does it Relate to Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice and Snow?

Most states have laws that require owners and managers of property to maintain their premises to protect people who are legally on the property. An owner or manager should know about broken stairs, dangerous holes, and other physical hazards.

If someone should reasonably know about a hazard on their property, the law usually requires the person to fix the problem, or at least warn people about the possible danger.

Premises Liability

Snow and ice are not permanent hazards, but most northern states address these winter conditions and include them in the property owner’s obligations. 

Basically, the owner or occupier of real property must remove ice and snow from the premises within a reasonable amount of time after the winter weather strikes.

This obligation extends to sidewalks, parking lots, and other outdoor areas, but also includes interior spaces where snow can be tracked indoors and cause slippery puddles. Failure to take these steps can constitute negligence on the part of the property owner or occupant and could lead to legal liability for any injuries suffered as a result.

If you have slipped on ice or snow, turn to a personal injury law firm that knows the applicable laws and can determine who you can hold liable for your fall injuries.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident on Ice or Snow

The first reaction of many people who fall in public is embarrassment. Although the fall may not be their fault, people often claim they are fine and minimize the accident. Also, right after an accident, adrenaline may mask any pain or injury you may have experienced. 

Obtain medical care. The most important thing you can do after a fall is seek medical care as soon as possible. You may have sustained injuries that won’t show any symptoms for days but could cause serious long-term problems. Even if you don’t need emergency care, visit a doctor soon after your fall to ensure you receive the medical treatment you need to recover.

Preserve evidence. If you can, take photographs of the area where you fell to show the conditions at the time of your accident. Document any ice, snow, or puddles that contributed to your fall and subsequent injuries. Ask for contact information from anyone who witnessed your fall and gather contact and insurance information from the property owner or manager.

Document your progress. As the days pass, problems such as specific pain or limited activities you cannot do because of your injuries may fade in your memory. Keep a journal to diary your life experiences and the pain and suffering you faced after the fall.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. As soon as you can, reach out to a tenacious slip and fall lawyer who can guide you through the insurance claim and recover the compensation you need to reclaim your life. Work with an attorney who will take your case to trial if negotiations cannot settle your case. 

Compensation We Can Request for You After a Slip and Fall Accident on Ice and Snow

If you fell on ice or snow, you may receive financial compensation for a variety of injuries and losses.

Most states require liable parties to pay for:

  • Medical expenses including immediate costs and future expected expenses for fall-related medical care, therapy, medical devices, and in-home care
  • Lost income, wages, and benefits if you cannot work in the same capacity as you did before the fall
  • Personal property losses such as a broken phone or other valuable item that was damaged in the fall
  • Pain and suffering caused by the fall
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of family relationships
  • Other fall and injury-related losses
Russell Nicolet, Car Accident Lawyer
Russell Nicolet, Car Accident Lawyer

While you focus on your physical and emotional recovery, let a dedicated fall injury law firm handle the complicated and stressful filings, negotiations, and resolution of your injury claim.

Contact a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You With Your Slip and Fall Accident on Ice and Snow 

After a serious slip and fall accident on ice or snow, you deserve a team of legal professionals fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call 1-855-NICOLET or reach out online to the dedicated injury slip and fall attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free consultation today.