Take steps to avoid winter slips and trips
27th December 2013
Our personal injury solicitors are expecting to see a huge number of slip and trip compensation claims relating to injuries people have sustained over winter. Slips, trips and falls can lead to hospitalisation and even death in healthy adults, but the dangers of these accidents is even greater among elderly people.
Ice and snow create one of the most obvious slip and trip hazards in the winter, as floors can become slippery, and you could find yourself seriously injured as a result of this. To avoid these kinds of incidents, our no win no fee solicitors have provided the following advice.
– Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes
Worn-down soles can significantly reduce traction on ice and snow and can lead to slips and trips. People who wear inappropriate shoes and are in a preventable slip and trip accident may have their compensation settlement reduced as a result of this ‘contributory negligence’.
– Walk slowly
You might be tempted to speed through the snow so you reach your destination faster, but you will be more likely to slip or trip over when you are walking quickly as you will lose your balance. You should always set off well in advance when traveling in winter.
– Don’t walk through very deep snow
The risk of a trip escalates significantly when there is over an inch of snow.
– Keep your property clear of snow
Do your neighbourly duty and keep paths and walkways clear of snow so that people do not slip over on your property and that you can enter and exit the house safely. Doing this will also reduce your likelihood of being liable in personal injury claims.
– Keep your home clean
Clear up any snow and ice you accidentally track indoors. Take your wet shoes off when you get inside so you don’t drip water on your floor and make it slippery.
You should also keep your home clear of any obstructions in walkways or any other tripping hazards. Electric radiators and electric blankets can create trip risks in the home, so be mindful of where their cables are. Secure any loose rugs or carpeting.
– Dress for the weather
In some of the most tragic winter slip and trip accidents, people trip over in the snow and are unable to get up, which causes them to develop potentially-fatal hypothermia. Dressing appropriately for the weather can protect you in this situation.
While boots, coats, scarves and other bulky clothing will keep you warm, it may also lead to slip and trip accidents. Make sure your clothes fit properly and will not catch on obstacles.
People should not just look out for their own wellbeing over winter, but should also look out for their family members and neighbours. Elderly people in particular may find it hard to cope with very poor weather and should be regularly visited to ensure they are holding up well and are safe.