On behalf of Licatesi Law Group, LLP posted in blog on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

When winter weather hits New York, it causes a lot of difficulties for drivers as well as pedestrians and those who use public transit. Whether you’re walking into a facility from a parking lot or shopping the isles of a store, there’s increased risk for a slip-and-fall accident. Snow, ice and water from melted precipitation can leave you at risk of getting hurt.

While many people think that a slip-and-fall accident is a minor concern, these accidents often lead to serious injuries and even death in some cases.

Public facilities and businesses should be safe for visitors

In order to protect the public, businesses and property owners are required to maintain safe facilities. That means clearing ice and snow from sidewalks, entrance ways and parking lots, keeping interior floors clean and dry and taking steps to reduce the potential for someone to slip, such as using rugs or floor mats in high traffic areas. If someone ends up injured in or in front of a business, that business could be accountable for the injuries and losses sustained.

In order to offset the potential risk, businesses and property managers typically obtain liability insurance. These policies protect against losses related to premises liability, including slip-and-fall accidents. Sometimes, these insurance policies will end up paying for the medical expenses and lost wages of individuals who sustain injuries due to a slip-and-fall in a store or a parking lot.

Slip-and-fall accidents can be quite serious

While you may think that the average slip-and-fall accident results in little more than a bruised ego, the statistics tell a different story. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-fall accidents send approximately one million people to the emergency room in the United States every year. These people have injuries that require medical attention.

Broken bones or fractures are some of the most common injuries associated with slip-and-fall incidents. Traumatic head injuries are also common, as people can strike their head on objects or the floor when falling. These injuries can lead to temporary or even permanent disability. In extreme cases, death can result. Death due to a slip-and-fall is more common in older populations, but it can happen to younger people and even kids, too.

Victims have the right to seek compensation when injured

If you or someone you loved suffered serious injuries as the result of a slip-and-fall accident, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a claim regarding premises liability or bringing a personal injury lawsuit. That is particularly true when the accident was a result of a failure of maintenance or upkeep.

Damages could include medical expenses, lost wages and the cost of any ongoing treatments. Depending on the extent of the injuries, the cost associated with a slip-and-fall could be quite substantial.