Winter is coming – watch your step!
As the weather gets colder, personal-injury lawyers throughout the United States brace themselves for the incoming flood of slip-and-fall cases. Even considering the unpredictable nature of winter in Nebraska and Iowa, icy conditions can all too often combine with other hazards to cause serious injury.
Accidents happen, no matter how well-prepared we might be. Taking a few extra precautions this winter, however, might help you avoid a visit to the emergency room – or our office.
1) Watch out for uneven sidewalks
Despite the best efforts of those tasked with clearing snow from the streets and sidewalks, freezing temperatures can create treacherous patches of ice that are almost invisible to pedestrians.
The municipality is responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of public buildings and in public areas, while the liability for those outside private residences and commercial buildings generally falls upon premises owners. Though you may be able to make a negligence claim in the event of an accident, take extra care when walking on sidewalks that are uneven or in a state of disrepair.
2) Beware parking lot potholes
Given the size of many parking lots, it’s no surprise that the occasional hole or crack might escape the notice of a business owner. During winter, however, snow-covered pitfalls can cause anything from a twisted ankle to a serious head injury. Business owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe – so if you are injured on someone else’s property, consult a premises liability attorney immediately.
3) Be careful in low-light conditions
The reduced visibility caused by snow, cloud coverage and the shortened duration of daylight hours can make it much harder to avoid hazardous footing, increasing the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. The risk can be further compounded by poorly-maintained or broken lighting, whether on the street, outside businesses or in a public area. Tread carefully when your vision is limited.
By taking a few simple precautions and being aware of your surroundings, chances are that you will make it through the season unscathed. However, if you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident this winter due to someone else’s negligence, be sure to contact a dedicated personal injury lawyer to discuss whether you have a valid premises liability claim.