Watch Your Step

Slip and fall accidents send more people to the emergency room than any other accident, according to the National Safety Council.

Understandably, the winter season sees a rise in those statistics. These mishaps are often caused by conditions that include icy sidewalks, wet floors, or uneven pavement due to the build-up of snow.

Most of these accidents could be prevented if the business or property owner took responsibility to remove these hazards or if they had bold and visible signage that urged caution.

Winter-related slips and falls claims doubled in 2013-2014 over the previous year, representing 29 percent of all workers’ compensation claims, according to Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland. Indiana leads the way.

Here’s the breakdown by states:

Indiana – 37 percent
Wisconsin – 33 percent
Michigan – 32 percent
Illinois – 32 percent
Minnesota – 29 percent

When one is injured on another person’s property, it may be a case of premises liability.
Property owners are legally required to practice “duty of care” to provide safe conditions for visitors – whether they be tenants or visitors at an apartment complex or private home, at a public facility, or customers at a place of business.

Not all slips and falls are the result of negligence on the part of a property or business owner. You must basically prove that the owner knew of the dangerous conditions and did nothing about it. Simple carelessness on your part doesn’t always qualify for compensation to cover the cost of treating your injuries and other damages.

Meanwhile, to avoid that trip to the emergency room, follow these simple tips while walking on ice, snow and wet floors or sidewalks.*

 Walk slowly and deliberately and wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
 Be prepared for black-ice formation after melting occurs.
 Exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles.
 Watch for slippery floors when entering buildings.
 Avoid carrying items. Keep hands empty so arms are free to move for stabilization. Use backpacks if possible.

*Source: Accident Fund and United Heartland

If you do believe that a slip and fall was caused by an irresponsible property owner, contact Theodoros & Rooth immediately. It would also be of great help if you were able to take photographs of the hazardous portion of the property where your accident took place and get the names and numbers of any witnesses. Under no circumstances should you accept a settlement from the property owners or their insurance company until you talk to us. The fact is, some injuries don’t fully become evident until days or even weeks later.

Theodoros & Rooth will investigate your case and work aggressively to win compensation to help pay those growing medical bills and possible loss of income as a result.

All of us at Theodoros & Rooth hope that you have a safe and enjoyable winter season.