The winter months are notoriously treacherous for drivers on the road. But there are constant cycles of people taking care of it. Snow plows clear the roads and salt trucks help melt the ice. When people are walking outside, the sidewalks and parking lots they need to get through may be slippery with ice and cause them to fall to the ground, resulting in an injury. If you or a loved one has suffered from a slip and fall injury, a premises liability lawyer can stand at your side and fight for you to get compensation.
The Law Office of Todd W. Burris fights for Kentucky citizens who have been wrongfully injured. We’ll use our expertise to get you the compensation you need through settlement or jury verdict. While these cases may get complex, we’re well-versed in premises liability law in Kentucky and will know the best way to proceed. Let’s take a look at what property owners are responsible for when it comes to snow and ice.
Lexington, Kentucky City Ordinance on Snow and Ice
According to the Code of Ordinances in Lexington, Sec. 17-31 states those who are in charge of the care of the building or a lot next to a sidewalk are responsible to clearing snow and ice so it’s safe to walk on. The people responsible have four hours after daylight and after the snow has stopped falling. It also includes snow and ice that can fall from buildings. They also have to salt, sand, or otherwise make sidewalks and lots covered in ice safe to walk.
There are penalties for not taking measures to keep people safe. The person who violates the section can be charged with a misdemeanor and the fine can range from $5.00-$100.00. For each day they don’t take care of their property, it will be considered a separate offense. If someone ignored the ice on their sidewalks for an entire business week and was fined the maximum penalty, they could owe $500.00 in fines.
However, this may not sound like much to some and they could think they’ll just pay the fines and be done with it. But if someone is injured on their property, they could find themselves in the middle of a legal claim where they’re being held liable for damages.
If you’ve had a slip and fall accident because someone didn’t clear the snow and ice, our premises liability lawyer in Lexington will fight for you to recover full and fair compensation. You deserve to have representation knowledgeable of your rights and the laws of the area to maximize your claim.
What Injuries Do Falls on Ice and Snow Cause?
Slip and fall accidents caused by ice and snow can cause dangerous injuries. When people slip on ice, they may not see the ice or could be walking quickly. In these cases, it’s common for a person’s feet to slide out from under them. When they hit the hard ground, a number of injuries can occur.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Back Injuries
If your feet go out from under you and you fall backward, there’s a chance you could hit your head on the ground. This severe jolt could cause a concussion or a traumatic brain injury. These need careful medical attention as a TBI can have permanent consequences.
When people are falling, they may try to twist or break the fall in any way they can. Unfortunately, this can result in broken bones or fractures. One common action people do is use an arm to break the fall, but this means the arm will absorb the impact, which typically results in breaking the arm or a soft tissue injury like spraining the wrist.
If the person falls flat on their back, they may injure their spinal cord that could result in an injury that leaves them unable to walk. Back injuries can also be painful.
Falling on ice can be particularly dangerous for elderly people. Common falling injuries include hip fractures, which can get infected. It’s harder for older people to fight off these infections, which can put them in the hospital and can be fatal.
These injuries can affect your life in more than one way. While you’ll expect the injury to inhibit you physically, you may not think about how injuries can have emotional losses as well. Anxiety and depression may develop as a result of the accident and you may need to seek professional help to get the treatment you need.
If you were in the hospital for treatment, you may have extensive bills. This includes covering for the treatment you received in the past as well as continuing to afford the care you need in the future.
Paying back these bills can put people under a significant amount of stress, especially when they’re trying to keep up with other responsibilities like paying the mortgage and making sure there are groceries for the week. That’s where we come in. Our premises liability attorney can guide you through the legal process so your claim is as strong as possible.
What Should You Do If You Slipped and Fell on Ice?
There are a few steps you can take to help your claim after the accident occurs. It’s important to document the incident and your injuries as this can help you attorney with your claim later.
- Report the Incident. Tell the person who is in charge of the property what happened and make a written report of the incident. This is when the details will be fresh in your mind, so your account will be more accurate than if you made it later.
- Get Medical Attention. A doctor’s medical evaluation will allow you to know what you’ve injured, how to treat it, and you have documentation saying you needed to see a doctor for your injuries. Waiting to see a doctor could call your claim into question. You could also make your injuries worse if you don’t seek treatment as soon as possible and you may not be able to recover full compensation.
- Seek Legal Aid. Contacting a trustworthy premises liability attorney in Kentucky is you next step to moving on from this accident. Your lawyer will review the merits of your case and help you discuss your options.
While you’re thinking of how to move forward, it’s also important to keep safety in mind. Let’s look into what you can do to decrease your chances of getting injured when you’re walking in snowy or icy areas.
Tips for Walking Safely in the Winter
When walking in winter, it’s important to give yourself more time to get to your usual destination because rushing can lead to slips and falls on ice and snow. While you’re walking, be sure to do the following:
- Take Short Steps. When you take smaller strides, there’s less of a chance of falling if you lose your footing. If one foot slides, you’ll have an easier time recovering your balance and may avoid a fall.
- Keep Your Hands Out of Pockets. This will help you keep your balance as you’re walking.
- Wear Winter Boots. Winter boots will protect your feet from wet snow and also have a better grip on the ground.
It’s also a good idea to always bring your cell phone in case you fall and need help. Getting caught in the cold with an injury that leaves you unable to move could put you at risk of further injury like hypothermia.
The Law Office of Todd. W. Burris Can Help You
We understand how a slip and fall accident can severely affect your life. Allow us to help you hold the people responsible for their actions and get you the compensation you deserve. Depending on where your accident happened, there may be different laws that apply to the premises. For example, slip and fall claims for a government-owned premises may have a different timeline than a claim for falling in a store. The sooner you call, the sooner we can work on getting you results. Contact our office for a free consultation today.