Winter can be a charming time of the year, particularly during the holidays when the snow blankets the trees and roadways. However, this could also be a treacherous time when it comes to slip and fall accidents. When snow and ice accumulate on driveways, walkways, outdoor stairways and sidewalks, there is a heightened risk for slip and fall accidents that could result in severe injuries and slip and fall lawsuits.
Understanding Slip-and-Fall Accidents
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than one million Americans are injured and about 17,000 die each year in slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents account for 15 percent of all work-related injuries and make up between 12 percent and 15 percent of all workers’ compensation expenses. The CDC estimates that 20 percent to 30 percent of people who take a fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries such as head injuries or hip fractures.
Also, slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) accounting for 46 percent of fatal falls among senior citizens in the U.S. Studies indicate that almost 80 percent of slip and fall accidents on snow and ice occur in parking lots or on sidewalks, with more than half of these falls occurring between 6 a.m. and 12 noon.
Who is Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?
In a majority of slip and fall injury claims, responsibility can turn on the owner of the property where the injury occurred. When a business owner or owner of a property where there is a lot of foot traffic, such as a shopping center, fails to clear snow and ice from the premises, they can be held responsible for slip and fall accidents that occur on their property. Under Rhode Island’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, a landlord or property owner has a legal obligation to keep common areas such as walkways, stairways and parking lots reasonably free of snow and ice.
Even if you are a tenant who agreed to shoveling or clearing snow, your landlord may be held responsible depending on the circumstances of the incident and the conditions of your rental agreement. If you have been injured on a public sidewalk as a result of a slip and fall on ice or snow, the city, county or governmental agency responsible for the upkeep of the property in question can be held accountable.
Contact an Experienced Providence Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Providence slip and fall accident, contact one of our experienced Providence slip and fall lawyers located at 390 Broadway, Providence RI 02909. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 401-831-8600 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.