Although Washington, D.C. experiences less snow than many other cities and states along the eastern seaboard, it certainly is no stranger to the occasional icy road from sleet or snow or slippery sidewalk from rain. During the winter months when it gets particularly chilly, sometimes ice forms on common walkways or on the road, which creates slippery conditions. Pedestrians and commuters who walk to work must remain vigilant to prevent any accidental slips, falls, or trips in wet or icy weather.
Slipping and falling most commonly takes place when the weather is icy or rainy, when visibility and weather conditions are poor, and when the pedestrian is hurrying or fails to pay attention to their surroundings. If a pedestrian is on their cell phone, in a rush, and wearing poor footwear while attempting to walk on the ice at night, for example, combining any of these factors could also significantly increase the risk of injury.
Slips and falls are more common than you may assume. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for over a million visits to the emergency room and falls account for more than eight million hospital emergency room visits every year. Falls continue to be the leading cause of emergency room visits.
Are older adults at greater risk of falling?
Yes, older individuals also tend to be more susceptible to slip and fall accidents, but this does not mean that younger people are not susceptible to injury as well. In fact, every decade of life that passes, the incidence of falls goes up. Of all deaths associated with falls, for example, more than 60 percent involve those who are aged 75 years or older. For people between 65 and 84 years old, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death, and for individuals 85 years and older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death. Of all types of injuries from falls, hip fractures are often the most serious and can lead to the greatest number of health problems, complications, and deaths.
The best way to avoid any accidental slip and falls while outdoors in inclement weather is to be a proactive pedestrian. This could mean using a handrail when walking up and down the stairs, using a flashlight when visibility is poor on your walk and wearing slip-resistant shoes. During the winter months, investing in a solid pair of rain boots or shoes with rubber or lug soles could save your life and keep you from slipping as easily. When carrying heavy items, it is best to use a cart so that you can avoid slipping and falling because of the weight of what you are carrying or because you cannot see in front of you. Staying off your cellphone while walking can also keep you alert and potentially slipping or falling.
Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured in a Washington, D.C. slip and fall accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury claims and will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.