Did you know that some of the most common winter personal injuries our personal injury law firm sees in the coming months include slip and falls, car accidents (both weather and alcohol related), and on-the-job severe cold weather incidents?
Yes, our firm handles all types of injuries year-round, with a spike in wintertime injuries starting around this time. Wintertime accidents can lead to all sorts of injuries, including:
- Head injuries, including concussions
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured and/or broken bones
- Soft tissues injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Heart attacks
So, in light of snowy, icy, and chilly days ahead, today’s blog will discuss how to avoid sustaining wintertime personal injuries in 2024.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries tend to be more common in the winter months. This is because we see a rise in snow and ice accumulation in places that are typically not thought of as dangerous. Some of the most common injuries our clients have sustained specifically in wintertime slip and fall accidents include: slipping in icy parking lots and common areas not properly attended to. In order to avoid these accidents, we recommend doing the following:
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Minimize your distractions and keep your head on a swivel for new obstacles.
- Wear proper footwear. Make sure you are wearing non-slip shoes to minimize the chances of you falling on ice, water, or snow.
- Think about your steps. The way you walk is important. Be careful to maintain your balance by taking slow and short steps.
- Plan ahead. If you know a particular parking lot, set of stairs, or walkway tends to be dangerous in the winter months, do your best to avoid it.
Of course, no matter how diligent we are, accidents happen. In fact, we often see clients that slip and fall because of a bad railing—a device we all use to maintain balance and prevent falls! If you slip and fall because of someone else’s actions (or inactions), assess your injuries and call for medical assistance. From there, call us immedately about your case!
Winter Car Accident Injuries
Because of inclement weather, our personal injury firm sees a spike in car accident injuries due to slipping on ice, snow, and sleet.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 24% of all weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement. 15% of crashes happen during snowfall or sleet. Each year, over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement.
Alcohol-related car accidents are also rampant during the winter months. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 31% of all traffic fatalities in 2021 involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Specifically, during the wintertime. over 4,500 people were killed between 2017-2021.
In order to avoid injury in these accidents, we recommend doing the following:
- Stay alert. In general, being aware of your surroundings is key in preventing your own personal injuries.
- Plan ahead. Try to avoid not shoveled or other poorly-maintained roadways.
- Avoid or minimize driving on holidays. Since holidays tend to be the most dangerous days on the road, plan to travel in advance or stay put, especially at night.
- Do not drink and drive. This one may be obvious, but protect yourself and others by designating a sober driver, should you need to drive. No exceptions!
Hypothermia and Frostbite Injuries
On-the-job hypothermia and frostbite injuries certainly rise in the winter months. Did you know that according to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), you can experience these injuries at or even above freezing temperatures, with winds at just 5 MPH?
If you are injured on the job, we at Bottaro Injury Lawyers handle all kinds of Workers’ Compensation claims. It is critical that you talk to an experienced personal injury law firm after an on-the-job injury, like experiencing frostbite, hypothermia, a slip and fall, etc., to make sure that all of your medical bills get covered.
In an effort to avoid wintertime workplace injuries like frostbite and hypothermia, we recommend the following:
- Wear proper work gear and warm clothing. Make sure you to cover your extremities!
- Avoid getting wet. Working in wet clothing only increases your chance of sustaining serious wintertime injuries.
- Take breaks and stay hydrated. Take all allotted breaks out of the cold weather and continuously drink water.
- Speak up for yourself and others. If you or others are struggling in your current work conditions, speak to those who have the power to adjust break times and exposure to cold weather.
While winter personal injuries are nearly unavoidable, we hope that increased awareness and tips to avoid injury help you this season. If you sustain a wintertime injury, call us immediately to discuss your options!
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At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people. Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We can even help on cases in other states as well. We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results. Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case. Text or call us at 401-777-7777, or fill out our free and confidential online form. We are here to serve and help you!