Simple Winter Safety Tips to Help Prevent Outdoor Slips and Falls

In this guide, we outline the most common injuries, the top causes and general winter safety tips that will prevent you from slipping and falling this winter season. We also go over whether someone else should be held liable for your injury and the importance of seeking legal advice.

The only thing that should be falling this winter is the snow, not you!

Woman slipping and falling in winter conditions

Most Common Slip/Fall Injuries

Among the list of injuries you or a loved one could suffer from a slip or fall, the top ones include:

1. Head Injuries

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Whether this is a minor concussion or a severe case that causes frequent seizures, mood changes, etc, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Man getting head bandaged

2. Hip Fractures

95% of broken hips are a result of falling down and are very common amongst the elderly population. Hip fractures cause an extensive list of complications including undergoing surgery. Often times hip injuries are the reason people go into nursing homes.

Xray of pain from hips

3. Back And Spinal Cord Injuries

Falling has a great impact on your body, no matter if you fall forwards or backwards. Fractured vertebraes, and herniated disks are among the top back and spinal cord injuries the body faces. These injuries limit mobility and cause excruciating pain. Nerve damage as a result of back and spinal injury is popular, and can result in paralysis.

Man clutching at back pain

4. Shoulder Injuries

People often tuck their arms in and push out their shoulders to bare the most impact of the fall on the way down. This can result in shoulder dislocation or an injury called “brachial plexus” which affects the nerves connecting the spinach cord to the shoulder, arm and hand.

Woman clutching at radiating pain in shoulder

5. Sprains and fractures

Twisting a knee, ankle or tearing ligaments are common in falls, especially in the elderly due to weaker bones. The fall doesn’t even have to be from that high of a distance in order to sprain or fracture a bone depending on the overall density.

Man bandaging sprained ankle

Top Causes of Slips/Falls/ Who Is Liable?

Here is a list of the top causes of winter slips and falls, as well as if someone else could be held liable for your injury.

1. Snowy/ Icy Weather Conditions

Weather is tricky in determining liability because there is no controlling over the forces of nature. If snow accumulates outside a building, the property owner is not required by law to shovel it away.

With that said, if the snowfall accumulates enough to turn to ice then the building owner may be held liable for your injury.

Man in snow with blown in umbrella

2. Poor Lighting

Dim or flickering lighting existing in public spaces can make it very difficult in seeing the ground. This blocks potential obstructions from your vision and increases your chances of slipping/falling. If the property owner knew of this lighting problem previously, and took no safety measures to fix it, then they can be held liable.

Subway station with poor lighting

3. Dangerous Parking Lots

The property owner of the lot has a responsibility for keeping it safe to use. This includes filling potholes, cracks and leveling issues. Failing to keep up with these important maintenance requirements can hold them liable if you suffer an injury in the lot.

Icy parking lot

4. Unsafe Sidewalks

If the sidewalk is owned by the city, then the property owner won’t be held liable. But, if this strip of sidewalk belongs exclusively to a business and meant for visitor usage, then it’s their responsibility to keep it safe. The business owner can be held liable for your injury in this case.

Sidewalk with icy and snowy conditions

General Winter Safety Tips

Taking preventative measures before stepping outside this winter season will keep you safe. Here is a list of tips to keep in mind to ensure you’re able to enjoy the most of the winter season, risk free!

  1. Wear Proper Footwear

  2. Take Smaller Steps

  3. Take Special Care When Exiting Vehicles

  4. Have Nothing In Your Hands

  5. Exercise For Better Stability

  6. Be Observant Of Your Surroundings

  7. Report Any Untreated Public Areas

  8. Increase Lighting Around Your House

  9. Shovel, Salt and Maintain Your Personal Property

  10. Be Cautious Of Black Ice

Winter road in city

If You Slip and Fall This Winter Season, Contact Conte & Associates Now

Slipped on an icy sidewalk? Tripped over a pothole in a public parking lot? Conte & Associates can help.

We know that accidents happen, but when it’s someone else’s fault, they need to be held accountable. That’s why we fight for you.

Our team of aggressive and experienced personal injury lawyers in Toronto will get you the settlement you deserve. It’s time to move on with your life, and we’ll help you get started.

Contact Conte & Associates today to book your free consultation. Accidents can change your life, but we can change the outcome.

Learn more about Conte Lawyers

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