Slip and Fall Injuries – A Winter Hazard

Preliminary estimates from the insurance industry indicate that the late-November storm that brought the first taste of winter’s misery to Ontario and Quebec brought with it over $90 million in damage claims. In the States the figures are even more astronomical. For the same period, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reported that claims could reach $2.5 billion. The I.I.I. report specifically mentions the effects of those deep freeze conditions experienced in some areas for the first time in memory – including slip and fall injuries.

The severe weather we are getting more and more of seems to bring with it a lot of ups and downs – snow one day, thaw and rain the next, then a freeze up that creates just the sort of conditions that can lead to slip and fall injuries.

Preventing Slip and Fall Injury

In a media release, Ralph Palumbo, IBC’s vice president, Ontario Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) underscores the need for communities to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have taken the idea of adaptation into the lab in an attempt to help seniors avoid slip and fall injuries. U.S. figures indicate that falls – the leading cause of injuries in the elderly – are costing a whopping $30 billion a year to treat.

We already know that encouraging exercises that enhance balance and strength – especially of the inner core that governs balance – can help a great deal to prevent falls. Along with physical conditioning, the Chicago researchers are using a walkway they’ve built that actually causes people to trip to help people learn how to avoid falling.  They say it is a form of subconscious learning as the subjects are not given any instructions. It uses the subject’s natural instinct to avoid falling subsequent times and it’s proven surprisingly effective.

It’s Not Just the Ice

At this time of year, it’s easy to be focused on slippery conditions caused by ice and snow that has not been properly cleared from walkways. However, there are many other issues that can affect your ability to easily and safely walk in businesses and in public areas.

  • Uneven pavement or sidewalks
  • Loose floor tiles
  • Loose carpeting or upturned edges of carpeting
  • Wet floors from cleaning
  • Stairs that are too steep
  • Walkways that are not properly lit

You have a right to expect to be able to navigate areas open to the public safely and when it comes to the elderly, falls are of a particular concern.

We Can Help

If you slip and fall either outside or inside a business or other public area, it can cause serious and debilitating injuries no matter what your age.  If it happens to you, there are two things you need to remember:

  • Get prompt medical attention. Even if your injuries or their extent isn’t immediately apparent, they can result in residual conditions like Chronic Pain Syndrome and fibromyalgia which can turn into ongoing problems.
  • Get legal advice. It’s the only way you can fully protect your interests and try to get the compensation you need to start on the road to recovery and rehabilitation.

At Petrillo Law, we work on behalf of injured people to get them the compensation they deserve. As experienced slip and fall lawyers, we understand the pain and uncertainty that comes with being injured. We have successfully recovered damages on behalf of hundreds of slip and fall victims throughout Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ontario. And we can help you too.

Get the Legal Representation You Need

Contact us today at (905) 949-9433 to schedule your free complimentary consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. We are located at 2600 Skymark Ave., Unit 1, Suite 201, Mississauga, Ontario, L4W 5B2

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