What to Do When Winter Weather in Georgia Leads to Slip and Fall Accidents?


December 30, 2010

Most people never consider the danger involved when simply walking through a parking lot to go holiday shopping, but adverse weather can make sidewalks slick from rain or ice which can result in very serious injuries. There are daily hazards that we never think about including icy sidewalks, wet and slippery grocery store floors and wet mall floors from rain tracked in on people's clothes and shoes. While you may think serious slip and fall accidents are rare, a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that falls cause more open wounds, fractures and brain injuries than any other type of accident.

The dangers associated with slip and fall accidents are even more serious for the elderly, with hospital admissions for hip fractures expected to exceed 500,000 by 2040. While we may try to be exceptionally careful during the winter holiday season as bad weather increases the risk posed by icy sidewalks and slippery floors, sometimes slip and fall accidents happen.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need to determine what type of injuries you suffered to get the medical care and treatment you need, and to receive compensation for your injuries when someone is liable for the dangerous condition. The experienced attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you assess your legal rights to compensation based on your injuries and the nature of your accident. This article provides an overview of the common types of injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents and factual and legal issues to consider when pursuing a Georgia slip and fall accident.

Common Types of Injuries

There are many type of injuries that can be suffered in slip and fall incidents ranging from minor scratches and bruises to fractures, serious head and spinal injuries and even fatalities. It is not uncommon that immediately following a serious fall, a fall victim is so shocked and overcome by adrenaline that the seriousness of one's injuries are not immediately apparent. If you suffer ANY injury in a fall, it is important to seek immediate medical evaluation to ensure that minor symptoms are not actually symptoms of more serious injuries. The most common types of serious injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents include the following:

• Traumatic Brain Injuries: Slip and fall accidents where someone slips and falls backward or forward causing one's head to slam into the ground often lead to devastating traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries where the victim's head makes contact with the ground can have very negative consequences leading to permanent brain damage. The damage from the impact of one's head with the ground caused by a fall is often made worse by the whiplash effect of one's head being jerked down after a person's body collides with the ground.

• Spinal Injuries: Slip and fall victims suffer back injuries more than any other type of fall-related injury. If you slip on a wet floor or slippery sidewalk, your back absorbs the force of the fall as your feet slide forward while your body is jerked back toward the ground. Such falls can cause a variety of back injuries including broken bones, damaged discs and damage to the muscles or tissue surrounding the spine. Many times fall victims cannot immediately ascertain the seriousness of back injuries suffered in a fall so it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention.

• Fractures and Shoulder Injuries: When a person slips, one's natural instinct is to reach out with one's hand in an attempt to break the fall. This natural reaction to a fall means that shoulders, arms and wrists take much of the impact of a fall. This can lead to dislocated shoulders, broken arms and fractured wrists.

• Hyperextensions: A person's body is often put in positions that are not natural when one's feet suddenly slip out from under one's body causing awkward contortions of one's body. This can lead to hyperextension of knees or elbows.

Legal/Factual Questions

If you have suffered injuries like those above in a fall, there are a number of legal or factual issues that may affect whether you have a right to seek legal compensation. A slip and fall accident that occurs on your own property will usually not result in someone else being at fault for your injuries. If you fall on someone else's property, you should consider whether it is an area open to the public that people would expect to be maintained. Common examples of property held open to the public that we would expect to be maintained might include:

• Grocery stores

• Shopping malls

• Parking lots

• Schools and universities

• Gas stations

Private property that is clearly marked with no trespassing signs or that is an area clearly not open to the public may be more problematic. Because the type of property and reason for your visit can impact your right to compensation, you should seek legal advice from an experienced slip and fall attorney.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have helped thousands of Georgia residents seriously injured or killed in Georgia slip and fall accidents for over 25 years. Our Georgia slip and fall lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are, we are just a phone all away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.