Winter Slip and Fall Accident in Missouri
It goes without saying that the weather in Missouri is very unpredictable, particularly in winter. The morning might be sunny and clear, but by lunchtime, there could be heavy snowfall. These are the perfect conditions for slip and fall accidents. In fact, every year, winter weather causes millions of injuries in the United States alone.
Unfortunately, a slip and fall injury can be devastating to a person’s well-being, finances, and daily life. Some people are more prone to injuries in bad weather conditions, such as pregnant women, the elderly, or people with disabilities. That’s why it’s important to understand the rights and responsibilities one has during and after a slip and fall accident.
Duty of Care
While snow, rain, and ice can’t be prevented, property owners owe a duty of care to their invitees and customers to take the necessary steps to prevent slip and fall accidents on their property. More specifically, business owners are expected to clear snow and ice to prevent falls.
They can use sand, salt, or similar methods to reduce the risk of a fall. Owners also need to post warning signs and place indoor rugs to further prevent people from injuring themselves. It’s important to remember that some cities in Missouri have laws related to clearing snow and ice, which means the owners can be liable for injuries due to their negligence.
Most Common Slip and Fall Injuries in Missouri
As previously mentioned, winter weather increases the risk of falling. No matter how slowly someone walks across a slick surface, their feet can slip out from underneath them, with devastating consequences.
Some of the most common injuries during slip and fall accidents include:
● Neck and back injuries
● Broken bones
● Spinal cord injuries
● Knee and ankle injuries
● Strains and sprains
● Broken arms, ribs, and wrists
● Head injuries
● Shoulder injuries
It’s worth noting that slip and fall injuries can even result in permanent disabilities. In fact, for some victims, it can take months or even years before they can resume their daily routine. Additionally, they might also require surgery or expensive physical therapy before returning to work and enjoying their usual activities.
How to Avoid Slip and Fall Accidents
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to avoid slippery surfaces forever. However, there are a few things people can do to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents:
● Walk slowly
● Wear winter shoes that feature good tread and non-slip soles
● Avoid carrying heavy packages
● Use handrails
● Always walk with your body slightly bent forward on slippery surfaces
● Be careful when entering and exiting a vehicle
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
No matter how much people try to avoid them, slip and fall accidents are sometimes inevitable.
If the accident is caused by the negligence of a business owner, victims can file a claim and receive proper compensation. In order to guarantee the success of their personal injury claim, victims should:
● Report the fall to the property owner or their representative.
● Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
● Take pictures of the accident scene while also including the lack of warning signs, the weather conditions, or other evidence.
● Visit a doctor immediately as they will be able to document any injuries. Make sure to note any signs and symptoms and report them to the doctor. Also, victims should remember that it might take several days for them to feel the full effects of the injuries.
● Write down any information about the fall, what people said after, and other details that might be relevant to the case. Also, keep records of financial losses and expenses related to the accident.
● Don’t talk with the property owner or their insurance company until advised by a personal injury lawyer. Any statement that the victim makes can have a negative impact on their claim.
● Meet with a lawyer to discuss the details of the case as soon as possible. An experienced injury attorney will be able to advise victims on how to proceed with the case to get the fair compensation they deserve.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
All in all, people need to be aware of their rights in the case of a slip and fall accident, especially during winter. However, while they could do all the work themselves and handle the claim, it’s always best to leave things to a professional. A St Louis slip and fall lawyer can conduct the necessary investigation and gather evidence to back up the claim. They can also negotiate a fair settlement on the victim’s behalf and make sure that the party at fault is held responsible.
For those who own a property where someone slipped and fell, find out more about property owner intentional torts. On the other hand, we also help with motorcycle accident cases—if you want to know how many mirrors are required on a motorcycle in Missouri, we can help find out.