Are you staying safe while venturing outside this winter? Chances are, you've run into at least one instance in which your feet did not feel solid on the cold, icy winter ground. According to a recent article by the Detroit News, you are not alone. They gathered statistics from the Accident Fund Insurance, which is a Midwestern company that handles many workers' compensation claims. They reported that compared to 2012-2013, the number of winter slip-and-fall claims doubled in 2013-2014. For the Midwest, that means that about 33% of all workers' compensation claims were accounted for by slip-and-fall events. In many states that receive significant snow in the winter months, such as our home state of Pennsylvania, the numbers are most likely very similar.
The article also offered a few tips in dealing with winter weather, such as:
- "Walking like a penguin", i.e. taking short steps using a wide base of support.
- Wear footwear that has both a good tread and is water resistant. Attaching ice grips to your shoes may be a good idea as well. To make your life easier, just keep a pair of nice shoes at your office to avoid having to carry them in every day.
- When winter ice is melting, the logical next step tends to be the formation of black ice. Be safe, even in areas that appear solid and dry.
- Be extra cautious in certain environments, such as parking lots and entrances to buildings (both exterior and interior).
- As much as possible, keep your hands free. Use a tote bag with a shoulder strap or a backpack instead of carrying items in your hands.
If you have slipped and fell on the property of another, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and potential pain and suffering. This may include cases where sidewalks were improperly maintained due to the winter weather, such as failure to remove snow and ice. Attorney Doug Stoehr takes cases for clients who have sustained slip-and-fall injuries due to the fault or negligence of another. For more information on his Altoona, PA area practice, please visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com or call his firm at 814-946-4100.