13 Nov Common Winter Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases cover a broad spectrum of injuries, but during the Winter season certain types of injuries become more prominent. The frigid weather, especially in the Northeast, brings snow, ice, and other hazardous conditions from about mid December to early March. During these months, weather-related auto accidents, slip and fall injuries, and space heater injuries increase every year. Continue reading to learn more about Winter-specific personal injury claims and how to prevent them.
Weather-Related Auto Accidents
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), about 17% of yearly auto accidents occur in snowy conditions. Winter weather can affect road visibility and create slick, hazardous surfaces that make controlling a vehicle more difficult for anyone – not just those new to the road. In fact, the culprit in many of these weather-related auto accidents is black ice, which is not visible to the eye and can make anyone lose control of their vehicle or go off the road. These conditions, paired with the regular occurrence of distracted driving, fatigued driving, and road rage lead to many severe and unfortunately fatal accidents.
So what can you do to prevent Winter weather-related accidents? In addition to the usual safe driver guidelines – following the laws of the road, ridding yourself of distractions, and being proactive – all drivers must take an extra level of caution during the Winter months. Did you know that driving on snowy roads can take your car 10 times longer to stop completely? Driving at slower speeds, keeping additional distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, and making sure all your windows are completely defrosted or scraped before heading out are just a few extra precautions to keep in mind. Also, allow yourself more time to get to work, school, or wherever you may be heading. Running late or feeling rushed may cause you to be more reckless and ignore the extra precautions discussed previously.
Slip and Falls
The National Safety Council reports that falls account for an estimated 8.9 million emergency room visits each year. Many of these are attributed during the Winter months when snow, ice, and slushy conditions that often freeze over during the night create more opportunities for slip and fall accidents. These accidents can result in both mild and severe injuries, ranging from scrapes and bruises to neck and spinal injuries. Generally, those that are older are at a higher risk of the more severe injuries. But precautions of property owners should be taken seriously no matter the risk level of those expected to be on the property.
What can you do to avoid a slip and fall injury? Whether on public property or your own, take precautions when out and about during the Winter. Look out for yourself and those around you. Avoid running, watch your step, and consider buying road salt to treat your own property. If you are a business owner, ensure your property is safe for customers by creating a safe entry way and exit – treating the area with salt and/or shoveling the snow out of the designated pathway.
Space Heater Injuries
Many households and businesses invest in space heaters for the colder months. Some are placed outdoors or on porches. Others are placed indoors. They are great for keeping warm and cozy, no matter where you are or how cold it is. However, they also can be hazardous. Space heaters get hot – that’s their job – but if left unattended they can easily overheat and potentially start a fire. According to a 2018 report by the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters accounted for more than two in five (44%) home heating equipment fires. Additionally, space heaters get hot to the touch and can cause serious burn injuries.
If you own a space heater, ensure the safety of yourself, your property, and those around you. Do not leave a space heater running when you are not present. If it happens to spark or overheat, you will want to unplug it and take any necessary action as soon as possible. Also, take caution when going to turn off your space heater. Chances are the plug or on/off switch is safely placed away from the heat source but still be careful not to burn yourself. If young children are around, it is especially important to make sure they cannot hurt themselves. Other factors to consider is proper upkeep of space heaters and the placement. If space heaters are not cleaned and kept in a proper condition, they are more likely to start a fire. They should also never be placed near combustibles or other flammable objects.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one falls victim to an injury this Winter season, reach out to The Cochran Firm Philadelphia. Our experienced attorneys have expert knowledge in all different types of personal injury cases and the resources to get you the compensation you are entitled to.
During this time, The Cochran Firm Philadelphia is continuing to take precautionary measures amidst COVID-19, but do not fear – we are still here for you. We will work with you virtually and waste no time getting your case on track.
The attorneys at our Philadelphia office have secured numerous multimillion-dollar awards for victims of serious injury and many have even been recognized as Super Lawyers for their personal injury successes.
When you are the victim of serious injury or illness, you deserve someone on your side who is both intimately familiar with state and federal laws, and fully devoted to helping you get maximum compensation. Call us today to schedule a FREE case evaluation at 1-800-THE-FIRM.