Slip-and-fall accidents are particularly likely in the winter months in Illinois. It’s normal to see sleet, freezing rain, snow and ice form in ways that make it dangerous to walk, bike and drive.
The fortunate thing is that it is easy to prevent falls, even if you do have to walk on ice. Keep these prevention tips in mind, so you can help protect yourself.
What should you do if you have to walk on ice?
If you have to walk on ice, to prevent a fall, you should:
- Take short steps, using a kind of shuffling motion to keep your balance
- Bend to place your center of gravity over your feet
- Be prepared to fall and catch yourself if you do
What should you do if you do start to fall?
If you do start to fall, one of the best things to do is to throw anything you’re holding to the side. That way, your hands or arms will be free to catch you and prevent more serious injuries, like hitting your head. If you can, twist or roll so that you fall backwards instead of forward. A forward fall is more likely to break fingers, wrists, elbows and arms, and they’re more likely to result in injuries to the face and shoulders.
When you fall, try to tuck your head into your chest when you fall backwards or arch it away from the ground if you fall forward. That way, you’ll reduce the likelihood of a head injury.
Who is responsible for your fall?
Depending on where you fall, a business owner or other party may be responsible for any injuries that you suffer. For example, if you slip on an icy walkway that should have been cleared by a shopping center, then the owner of that property or business could be held liable. If you fall, report that injury to the shop or property owner, and then seek medical care. You can focus on making your claim after you know what kinds of injuries you have and if you’ll need ongoing treatment for them in the future.