While some people may look forward to the winter because of the picturesque weather, others are wary of the dangers that winter weather brings. Snow and ice present a danger to pedestrians. The ground is slippery and wet, and at times, property owners do not take the proper measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians in snowy weather conditions. People can slip and fall on ice and snow in the following places in homes and/or businesses:
- Parking lots
Ensuring Pedestrian Safety in the Winter
Property owners have an obligation to ensure their property is safe and should:
- Salt their property before a snowstorm
- Shovel walkways to clear them of snow
- Consider spreading gravel or salt on walkways (so there is more traction)
- Put signs up to warn of areas with puddles or other hazards
- Ensure there is proper lighting so that ice or snow is visible at night
- Have a mat in the entryway where people can wipe off their shoes
While property owners have a duty to ensure their property, pedestrians should also be careful as their actions can be called into question when determining fault (which we will discuss in detail later). In areas where snow or ice is visible, pedestrians can exercise caution by:
- Being mindful of where they are walking.
- Wearing footwear suitable for the weather conditions.
- Walking cautiously by taking shorter and/or slow steps.
- Wiping the bottom of their shoes off before entering a building
- Keeping their hands free (if possible) so that they can use their arms to regain their balance or hands to break their fall
- Using handrails if available
Common Injuries Sustained in Slip and Fall Accidents
After a slip and fall on snow or ice, pedestrians can suffer injuries including but limited to:
- Fractures bones
- Severe bruising
- Dislocated kneecaps or patellae
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Damages Available in Slip & Fall Claims
After a slip and fall accident, you may be able to receive compensation for:
- Economic damages, which compensate for bills for medical care or rehabilitative services and lost wages. These damages include expenses and costs that are calculatable and have a price tag.
- Noneconomic damages, which compensate for physical and/or mental pain or suffering.
If you are partially at fault for the accident, the amount of damages you receive can be decreased. Connecticut is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that “blame” can be assigned to multiple parties in personal injury claims (see Connecticut General Statute § 2-572h). If it can be proven that you were also acting negligently (i.e. not paying attention while walking, wearing heels or inappropriate shoes for the weather, etc.), then the opposing party can argue you are also partially at fault.
Consider this: Because you were wearing heels, you are assigned 25% of the fault. Your damage will be reduced by that percentage. If your damages totaled $50,000, you would receive $37,500.
Contact Action Law Group Today
After you slip and fall on ice or snow, you should immediately seek medical attention. If you are able, you should also:
- Inform the owner of the property that you were injured
- Take pictures of the area where you fell and any injuries
- Contact our premise liability attorneys
Reaching out to our attorneys as soon as possible is important as weather conditions can change, which alters the scene. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can help you:
- Calculate the damages you are owed
- Develop a strategy that maximizes your compensation and mitigates your liability
- Investigate the incident and gather photos, witness statements, and other helpful evidence
- Handle the legalities so you can focus on healing
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence after a slip and fall accident, please contact our legal team at Action Law Group at (203) 439-3143. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and we can tirelessly work as your advocate in negotiations or courtroom litigation.