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Common causes of wintertime slip-and-fall accidents

With winter weather in full swing in New York, it's critical to understand the potential impact it can have on your health and well-being. For example, walking on snow and/or ice has the potential to cause a slip-and-fall accident, which can result in a variety of serious injuries.

Understanding the most common causes of wintertime slip-and-fall accidents can help you prevent trouble. Here's what you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Untreated sidewalks: For example, the sidewalk or walkway leading up to your office building may be perfectly safe during the summer months, but it has the tendency to accumulate ice during the winter. If left untreated, one false move could result in you falling to the ground.
  • Deep snow: This is particularly dangerous if you don't realize how deep the snow truly is. Maybe you take a step with the idea that it's only a couple inches deep, just to find that your entire shoe is covered. This can cause you to lose your balance and potentially fall.
  • Inclines: Parking ramp falls are extremely common during the winter months, as walking on an incline is even more difficult when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Not only do you have to concern yourself with slipping and falling, but you also have to worry about the motor vehicles operating in close proximity.

How to protect yourself

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent a wintertime slip-and-fall accident, there are some basic safety steps anyone can follow to reduce the risk of trouble:

  • Watch every step you take, especially when you see trouble ahead
  • Do your best to walk on treated surfaces, such as those on which salt has already melted the ice
  • Wear shoes with plenty of tread

If you find yourself injured in a wintertime slip-and-fall accident, take immediate action. Even though you don't want to remain on the ground in the cold, you shouldn't attempt to "walk it off" and treat yourself at home. If you are able to get indoors, take photos of the scene before doing so.

The evidence you collect from the scene, along with your medical records, can help you seek compensation from the negligent party, such as a building owner who didn't appropriately clear their property.

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