Fall is here, which means that rains are pounding down on the newly-fallen leaves, turning them into a slippery, slick hazard for pedestrians. Soon winter will be here, and with winter comes snow, ice, and shorter days with reduced visibility. This is the time of year where you need to be extra vigilant of potential slip and fall hazards.
In Boston, the puddles that follow rainstorms can quickly freeze, creating slipping hazards on sidewalks and parking lots throughout the city. Icy outdoor stairs can be extremely dangerous, especially as water enters the cracks, freezes, and expands, cracking the cement and making it easier for a victim to fall and become injured.
Any time an individual loses his or her balance, a slip or fall injury can occur. These injuries vary widely in their severity. Some individuals suffer only scratches or bruises from a slip or fall while others injure their spinal cords or brains, causing permanent disabilities or fatal injuries. If you have been injured in a slip or fall on another individual's property, including government and public property, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your accident to discuss the possibility of filing and pursuing such a claim.
There are a lot of ways a slip or fall can occur. Examples of possible accidents include:
The injuries that can result from these accidents vary widely. Examples of these injuries include the following:
- Broken bones;
- Muscle damage;
- Head trauma.
These injuries can require surgery or medication, along with rest and, in some cases, physical therapy to help the victim to recover. In certain cases, an individual might be paralyzed or suffer paresis, the loss of movement due to nerve damage, as a result of a slip or fall injury.
There are ways you can minimize your risk of being injured in a slip or fall this year. A few safety precautions you can take are:
- Wear non-slip shoes when you go out. These shoes are designed to grip the ground well with their thick, grooved rubber soles;
- Always use handrails when they are available;
- Obey all posted warnings. When a floor in a public place is freshly mopped, it is the property owner's responsibility to clearly mark the area that could be wet. Walk around these marked areas;
- Walk only on designated paths and sidewalks. You do not know what is hidden beneath piles of leaves or snow – avoid slipping or falling in a hidden hazard by staying on a clear path;
- Bring a flashlight when you go out at night. In many cases, slip and fall hazards are difficult or impossible to see in the dark. Carry a flashlight and avoid walking through dark areas.
Older adults are often more susceptible to slips and falls than younger adults and children. If you have an elderly parent, remove any slip and fall hazards from his or her home and be sure that he or she always has access to a cell phone or other way to call for help if he or she falls.
If you cannot get up, do not force yourself to rise. This could potentially injure you further. If this is the case, have someone call for help and have emergency medical personnel lift you and get you to a hospital. If you are in stable enough condition to rise, get yourself medical attention as soon as possible.
After you have received a diagnosis and begun treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim. This evidence can include documentation of your medical treatment, photographs of your injury and the hazard that caused it, and testimony from witnesses who saw your accident take place.
Do not wait to get started on your personal injury claim. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that once three years passes after an accident, you are no longer entitled to seek monetary compensation for your damages.
Fall and winter pose certain injury risks that are not as apparent in the warmer months. Do not allow your injury fears to prevent you from enjoying all that a New England autumn has to offer. In many cases, you can avoid an injury by simply taking a few safety precautions.
You can never completely eliminate your risk of being injured. If you are hurt in a slip or fall accident, seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive adequate treatment for your injury, the better chance you have of making a full recovery. If your accident occurred because of another party's negligence, the next step is to contact an experienced Massachusetts slip and fall lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury claim.
Contact our team of experienced Boston injury lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law today for your free legal consultation. Our injury attorneys in Boston can examine all of your case's details to determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim and if so, provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to get the money you deserve.