It’s the season for goodwill, giving and receiving. However, the busy shopping season also coincides with some of the worst weather all year. Georgia residents face snowy and icy conditions when they head out of the home, whether they’re in the car or on foot. When you’re doing your holiday shopping, you should be aware of the risks you face in a slip-and-fall accident.
During this time of year, you are likely to be injured by falling on a wet floor or icy pavement, especially in a parking lot, on a sidewalk or just inside the front door of a grocery store. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that millions of people are treated in emergency rooms throughout the country each year for slip-and-fall accidents. Many of these accidents occur among older people, although you can be seriously injured in a fall at any age.
As many as 30 percent of people who fall receive moderate to severe injuries. These often include:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion
- Bruises, broken bones or lacerations to the arms, legs, hands or feet
- Hip or pelvis fractures
- Neck or spine injuries
Falls are, in fact, the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Any of these injuries, particularly head injuries, can result in long-term or permanent disability, loss of mobility and even the risk of premature death.
You can protect yourself from the above injuries by walking carefully on slippery surfaces, wearing boots or shoes that are appropriate for the weather, and staying aware of your surroundings. This is particularly true when black ice is present, which can look like wet pavement. However, it is just as important for businesses and property owners to take steps to protect their customers from falling on their property.