What Steps to Take if You Are Injured in A Slip and Fall Due to Winter Conditions
Feb. 9, 2023
Although slip and falls accidents can occur at any time of the year due to a variety of reasons, during the colder winter months we see an increase in such accidents due to the prevalence of snow and ice and other winter conditions. Although property owners can be held liable for allowing snow and ice conditions on their property these claims are difficult to litigate and taking the necessary steps from the time of the accident is vital to making a successful claim.
At the Law Offices of Spencer M. Fein, P.C. we have been helping clients throughout Westchester County and the rest of the State of New York navigate through such claims. It is important to follow the following steps:
Collect any evidence, including photos and witness information, at the scene of the accident
At the time a person is injured the last thing on their mind is to preserve evidence at the scene that may help their case. Although this is quite understandable it is imperative to try and obtain evidence at the scene that will help in the litigation of their matter. This is especially true when you are dealing with winter weather conditions that may be transitory and not exist in the days after the fall due to an increase in temperatures or an additional snow storm. Take photos or videos of the location where your accident occurred.
Photos can help show the potential hazards left by the owner to help build your case. Additionally, save the clothes and shoes you wore when you fell. These can be evidence to show how severe your injuries were and sometimes can help prove the way that your body contoured during the actual fall.
Witnesses are always one of the most vital aspects in a claim. This is especially true when it comes to a slip and fall due to a winter condition. These witnesses can be the difference between a strong case and one that may be harder and weaker. Although there are not always witnesses present during your slip and fall, if there are it is imperative to get everyone’s contact information. Request contact information like names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses from any witnesses at the time of the incident.
Further, ask them if they would be willing to make a statement about what they saw. Then once you obtain an attorney, such attorney can contact these witnesses and get statements to make your case stronger. As the Law Offices of Spencer M. Fein, P.C. we routinely obtain witness statements for our client throughout Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, White Plains, Mt. Kisco and many other municipalities throughout the state of New York.
Report the Accident
Many times slip and falls on snow and ice occur without a property owner ever being aware till an attorney is hired. It is actually quite important for the injured victim to report the accident as soon as possible after the fall. If the fall was at a commercial business setting, such as a parking lot, store, etc., you should immediately inform the owners, store managers or someone at the business of how your fall occurred. You should ask for them to go look at the site and if they agree ask them to take photos of the area. If they do not offer to fill out an incident report then you should insist at the scene that they do so. If they refuse or if you choose to you can even call law enforcement so they may fill out a police report about the accident. These police reports can really help your future attorney establish and strengthen your claim
Seek Medical Attention
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause many types of injuries. Some, like cuts, abrasions and other bruising can be seen right at the accident scene. While others are not as visible. These injuries can vary in nature. Once could have a head injury including but not limited to concussions and traumatic brain injuries. You may also have neck and back injuries, fractured bones and/or structural tears of tendons. You may even have internal bruising to the bodies organs. Regardless of the injuries sustained, seek medical attention immediately to attend to the injury and prevent future permanent conditions due to lack of timely treatment. If possible keep any copies of any medical records, although your attorney will likely look to obtain a complete set of medical records themselves. Finally, make sure to take photos of your injuries at the tie directly after your accident and then periodically as your wounds heal.
Contact an Attorney
Slip and falls due to winter conditions are complex and require a skilled attorney to properly litigate. It will always strengthen a case to have a lawyer start their investigation as soon as possible after the accident. This will only help the strength of your claim.
If the property owner of an insurance representative of the property where your fall occurs and you have not yet hired an attorney it is important that you do not make any statements until you speak to an attorney. To get the compensation you as an injured party deserves it is vital to make sure to have a qualified attorney by your side along the entire journey. At the Law Offices of Spencer M. Fein, P.C. we have successfully litigated numerous slip and fall claims dues to winter weather conditions. Due to this experience we understand how to proceed with such claims to get the ultimate recovery and outcome for our clients. We represent client’s throughout Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and other New York counties for injuries sustained in falls due to snow and ice and other winter conditions. Feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.