Winter Weather Can Result In Personal Injury Claims For Slip And Fall Victims
Atlanta is not known for its winter weather, which may be the appeal of the area to many residents. After all, cold, snow, sleet, and ice make walking and driving treacherous and can easily cause serious accidents. Because we do not see a significant amount of winter weather, many commercial property owners and managers are unfamiliar with how to handle an overnight freeze or accumulating snow. Importantly, however, property owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their premises are safe for their visitors and, if they fail to meet this duty, can often be held liable for any injuries under Georgia law.1
For this reason, anyone who is hurt in a slip and fall accident this winter that they believe was due to the fact that a property owner was negligent2 in maintaining his or her property should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Some examples of the kinds of conduct that may indicate negligence on the part of a property owner include:
Failure to remove accumulations of snow or ice on walkways
- Failure to manage melting ice or snow being tracked in by customers
- Failure to lay down salt or gravel in preparation for an expected storm of freeze
Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries
When people slip and fall because of winter weather, they can sustain serious injuries, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries – If a person falls and hits his or her head on the ground or another object, a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, may occur as a result. Even a mild TBI may require weeks or even months of recovery time, and serious cases can leave victims with long-term cognitive or physical disabilities.
- Broken bones – While broken bones are often treatable, they can be extremely painful and may even result in significant scarring or disfigurement.
- Soft tissue injuries – Many slip and fall incidents cause soft tissue injuries such as lacerations, bruises, sprains, and strains. When severe, these injuries can keep people from working and may cause significant pain.
- Spinal cord injuries – Though uncommon, people who slip and fall may injure their spinal cord. These kinds of injuries can cause muscle weakness, numbness, tingling, limited range of motion, and even have the potential to result in paralysis below the site of the injury.
These and other injuries that people can sustain in slip and fall accidents due to winter weather can leave victims with significant economic and noneconomic losses.