Emergency rooms report over 1 million visits due to slip-and-fall accidents each year and a large amount of those come during the winter season. As the temperatures drop and precipitation turns to ice and snow, parking lots, walkways, and driveways become danger zones.

Ice can be difficult to see due to its transparency or being covered in snow. It’s a common thing to have someone pull into a parking lot, jump out of their car without really thinking about it, and slip on the ice. We’ve laid out some tips for home and business owners and winter slip-and-fall victims to help avoid these accidents and to know what to do when they unfortunately occur.

Home & Business Owners

Home and business owners must make reasonable efforts to make the walkways, driveways, porches, etc. of their property safe for people. That includes the following:

  • Reasonable snow and ice removal where people walk
  • Placement of visible warning signs if icy conditions remain
  • Adjusting snow/ice removal to weather conditions

If a slip-and-fall injury occurs on the property of an owners home or business there may be grounds for the victim to hold the owner liable for the injuries. Now it’s not as simple as if someone slips and falls around your home or business they automatically have grounds to sue you. It comes down to whether or not the property owner was being negligent.

The correct application of deicer on icy walkways goes a long way to preventing slip-and-fall accidents. Rock salt is the most popular and most widely used (magnesium chloride or pickle juice can be effective alternatives). Rock salt should be applied as follows.

  1. Sprinkle enough salt to create a thin layer on top of the ice. No more than 1-2 handfuls per square yard.
  2. After 15-30 minutes go back to the icy spots and shovel off the now broken down ice.
  3. Lay down a second light layer of salt to keep more ice from forming

Slip-and-Fall Accident Victims

There are, however, instances where the winter slip-and-fall victims are responsible for the accident themselves. If, for example, someone suffered their injury when they decided to run on a snowy walkway, that person has no case for liability against the property owner. Anytime a surface is used incorrectly, or warning signs are ignored, it’s going to be very difficult for the injured party to bring a case for liability against the property owner.

If there is a case where the property owner is at least partially liable for the injuries suffered in the slip-and-fall accident the injured party should take the following steps as soon as possible:

  1. Receive medical treatment
  2. Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney

An experienced personal injury attorney from Craig Swapp & Associates help victims of slip-and-fall accidents get a fair and full settlement from the responsible party. There may be compensation for:

  • All medical bills associated with the accident
  • A decrease in quality of life and activity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Temporary or permanent adjustments to the victims home to accommodate injuries and recovery
  • A caretaker

This is not an exhaustive list. The amount of compensable factors depends on the severity of the injuries and the unique details of each winter slip-and-fall accident. This is why it’s so important for those injured in slip-and-fall accidents to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Craig Swapp & Associates our attorneys understand how to identify what compensation the victim deserves, and how to successfully fight for that compensation.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a winter slip-and-fall accident give our specialists a call at 1-800-404-9000 or let us know about your experience by filling out the online form at the bottom of this page.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp