Idaho winters are frigid, and it’s easy for a large snowfall or ice storm to end in an injury. Slip and falls are common during the winter because snowy and icy sidewalks, parking lots, and exterior stairs can be treacherous if they’re not well-maintained.
How to Avoid Premises Liability Issues this Winter
- Use rock salt as needed during the winter months
- Keep the proper equipment on hand, like shovels, rakes, deicer, or blowers
- Clean your dams, icicles, and snowdrifts regularly
- Maintain your driveway if there is accumulated snow, ice, or debris
- Inspect and maintain your property, especially common areas
- Handle snow and ice removal promptly
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property and keep it reasonably safe to guests. The responsibility of a property owner is to forecast problems that could create safety issues on their premises and fix them before they can lead to accidents. It’s a property owner’s responsibility to maintain not just their building but also the common areas around their premises. Property owners are held to a standard of care that requires they maintain their premises or be held liable for harm to others.
Common Injuries From Winter Slip and Falls
If you or someone you love has experienced a snow or ice slip and fall, you know serious injuries can result from one simple fall. These slip and fall incidents could be the basis of a premises liability case if the injury happened due to unsafe conditions on someone’s unkempt property.
Common injuries facing those in winter slip and fall accidents include:
- Strained Muscles
- Broken Bones
- Fractured Bones
- Spinal Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many slip and fall injuries involve soft tissue damage from sprains and strains. Long-lasting damage like limited range of motion and immense pain are common long-term consequences of winter slip and fall accidents during the winter months.
- Back and Spine Injuries: Slip-and-fall accidents are the leading form of spinal injury in the United States. Each year, more than 30% of all spinal injuries are from slips and falls. Many injured parties slip and fall on their backs, damaging the spinal vertebrae. Injured vertebrae can place pressure on the spine, leading to pain, spasms, limb immobility, and in some severe cases, paralysis.
- Head and Brain Injuries: Slip and fall accidents also result in many head injuries. Severe slip-and-fall accidents involve head collisions and brain injury. Brain injuries continue to be studied because they can present in many ways. A seemingly minor injury can continue to progress behind the scenes. When someone falls and injures their head, it’s imperative that they see a doctor immediately. Even if there isn’t blood or swelling, a head injury could lead to traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) happen when there is a powerful impact to the head that causes trauma to the brain. These are serious injuries that can lead to permanent damage impacting a person’s cognitive abilities. TBI cases have also been known to lead to concussions, contusions, and other severe associated injuries.
At May, Rammell & Wells, our Pocatello premises liability attorneys have successfully handled these types of cases for many years. We are confident we can help you. Contact us now at (208) 623-8021 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.