woman slips on frozen ice

When we think of wintertime snowfall we conjure up childhood memories of building a snowman, sleigh riding, or having a neighborhood snowball fight. As fond and timeless as these memories are, as adults we need to be on high alert when driving and walking during these harsh winter months. Winter is undoubtedly a season for holidays and family, but it is also the season for Providence slip and fall lawsuits. As such, we urge you to use extreme caution when traveling through Rhode Island this winter and to continue reading for a few tips on how to avoid an icy incident.

How Can I Prevent an Icy Slip and Fall?

woman walking on frozen ice in boots

The simple answer is, you can’t. We can exercise caution by wearing boots, taking smaller steps, keeping your hands out of your pockets, and avoiding icy patches but the reality is that even the most cautious person can slip and fall unexpectedly. Ice tends to disguise itself in the form of black ice or can be masked under a layer of snow. Everyone has days when they are late for work or in a rush, so even the most cautious of walkers can neglect to identify a slippery part of the sidewalk. As such, there really is no way to completely anticipate or prevent a slip and fall. However, experts have provided us with some tips on how to mitigate the injuries you may sustain in one of these unexpected falls.

How Can I Fall Safely?

“The key is to let it happen,” says Kevin Inouye, stuntman and assistant professor of acting at the University of Wyoming. His theory is that we cannot anticipate falls and when they happen, our best bet is to fall in a manner that allows your body to absorb the impact while causing minimal injury. The way to accomplish this goal is through a “controlled descent.” You shouldn’t try to stop the fall, instead you should go with the fall and do your best to land on a “fleshier” part of your body. You want to avoid landing on boney areas such as knees, wrists, or hips and try to use a softer part of your body to take the impact.

walkway that is frozen overA common reaction to falling is to put your hands down to catch yourself and brace for impact. This technique is a broken wrist waiting to happen. Instead, when your feet come out from under you, tuck your chin to your chest and try to land on your shoulders. This can be the difference between being hurt and being injured. Furthermore, it is important to breathe out on impact as holding in your breath increases the chance you’ll have the wind knocked out of you.

Why Call d’Oliveira & Associates?

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Providence slip and fall lawyer to help you understand your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, scarring, emotional pain and suffering, among other losses. For a free (no-obligation) case evaluation, call us toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or (401)-831-8600, or fill out a contact form online.

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Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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