Florida isn’t known for ice, which makes it all the more surprising when you come across a patch and lose your footing.
You may be so shocked or embarrassed that you try to downplay your injuries. And some people think they can tough it out and refuse medical help. But there are a few things you should do if you slip and fall on ice.
Your main priority should be to get medical attention. But you will need to also collect evidence, contact a premises liability attorney, and speak with an insurance company.
Our experienced Florida premises liability lawyers can assist you with these complex processes.
Common Injuries from Slip and Falls on Ice
Of all outdoor fall-related injuries, slip and falls on ice cause the most serious injuries. It is estimated that 17,000 fatal falls occur annually and almost one million nonfatal emergency room visits.
Falls can also be expensive to treat and lead to scars or disfigurement that may be permanent.
A person who falls can suffer many injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Dislocation in the arms or legs
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
And this is not an exhaustive list. Ice can be very unforgiving. If you fall, even your minor injuries can quickly become major ones if left untreated for too long.
What to Do When You Slip and Fall on Ice
No matter how careful you are when you go outside, there is always a risk of slipping and falling when there is ice on the ground. Sometimes it’s a total accident. Other times, it’s caused by negligent premises owners.
If you slip and fall on ice, here’s what to do:
- Seek medical attention – It is important to be checked out by a doctor after an accident. Even if you think your injuries are not serious, a full exam is necessary. You will need a diagnosis from a medical professional for legal purposes later on And remember that many injuries are not immediately obvious.
- Obtain evidence – When you slip and fall, make sure you take photos of the scene before it’s cleaned up. You can even use your phone camera—just be sure to get all angles of the area where you fell before the property owner is able to fix any problems.
- Take pictures of your injuries – These images should document the extent of your injuries.
- Do not give a recorded statement to insurance – Do not provide a recorded statement of your incident without an attorney present. In the aftermath of an incident, specifics can be manipulated to make the injured seem more negligent in their own actions than they really were. Stick to legal counsel and refuse to give a recorded statement.
- Preserve the clothing you wore – If you fell on ice, your clothes will likely be evidence in the case. Take them home and put them somewhere safe for later use. If you are unsure about how to do this, your lawyer can get your clear instructions on next steps.
- Contact an experienced Florida slip and fall lawyer – The only way to make sure you get what you deserve is to contact an attorney. They will advise you on your rights and work with your insurance company, which will most likely contact you regarding the accident.
Who is liable for a slip and fall on ice?
A West Palm Beach slip and fall lawyer or a Boca Raton slip and fall lawyer can explain who may be responsible for your injuries when you slip and fall. When you slip and fall on ice, there are a few parties who may be liable for your accident:
The owner of the property where you fell.
If you fell on a walkway that had been negligently maintained, then the premises owner is responsible. This includes not only homeowners but also business owners and public institutions.
A contractor or employee who works for a business.
For example, a contractor in charge of maintaining a sidewalk in front of a store may be responsible in the case that they failed to maintain the walkway by failing to clear it.
An individual who doesn’t own property but was working on it.
If an individual is contracted to work on someone else’s property and they fail to clear ice and snow from the area, then they could be held liable for your injuries.
A public property owner.
This one is a bit different from others on this list. If you fell on ice in a public place like a sidewalk or parking lot and the premises were not properly maintained and safe for public use, then you may have a case against the government agency that is responsible for maintaining the property.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that refers to who is responsible for your injuries when you slip and fall on ice. It may be one of the parties listed above or it could be another responsible party altogether.
If you slip and fall, don’t assume it’s your fault. The first step is to contact an attorney who has experience with premises liability. They will guide you through every aspect of the case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney to Assist You
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on ice, contact an experienced premises liability attorney today. Your initial consultation is free.
To find out more about Florida premises liability laws, speak with an attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. We’ll help you understand your rights and how to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.