Slip and fall safety guide for this winter

By Pace Law | November 25, 2019

It is estimated that the average cost of a slip and fall injury is between $1000 and $50,000. Even a ‘minor’ fall on ice can lead to a visit to the doctor, having to undergo X-rays, and being prescribed medication. The most serious falls can cause fractures, miscarriages, paralysis, and death.

In time for this winter, we are creating a slip and fall checklist which will help you keep safe. It will tell you what you should do after a slip and fall. Finally, we provide some important phone numbers if you do have an accident.

 

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Slip and Fall Safety Guide

 

Tips to stay safe this winter

  1. Wear footwear with good grip
  2. Walk alertly and look ahead
  3. Take short steps and walk slowly
  4. Don’t keep your hands in your pockets
  5. Beware of ice on pavements and stairs
  6. Always hold the handrail when available
  7. Avoid walking on icy ground if possible
  8. Keep your phone within easy reach

 

What to do if you have slipped on ice?

Slipping and falling on ice or snow is not an event for which you can plan. When such an accident does happen, you are apt to be frightened, shocked, and confused (maybe even embarrassed). Follow these steps immediately after falling.

Step 1: Take a few minutes to let the shock wear off

Step 2: Feel for pain points, and check your body for injuries (torn clothing may be a sign)

Step 3: If you can, record the scene with photographs, and obtain witness details

Step 4: File an official incident report with the property owner/manager

Step 5: Visit a doctor for a complete examination

Step 6: Get in touch with a slip and fall injury lawyer

 

What are the common symptoms of a falling injury?

Falls can cause serious injuries. Sustaining serious injuries – such as internal bleeding, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis – are possible consequences of a slip and fall accident. For an expectant mother, there is a real danger of suffering injuries that impact pregnancy. For the elderly, falls can be especially dangerous, and they may result in chronic pain and a lifetime of rehabilitation treatments.

 

Immediate symptoms

Fractures and haemorrhaging

Skull and brain injuries

Bruising and bleeding

Chest pain

Headache

Stiffness and soreness

Ankle or wrist bent at odd angles

Loss of mobility

Struggling to stand up

Internal body ache without external scarring

Mental confusion

Pain in neck

Pain while moving arms and legs

Disorientation

Facial injuries

Discomfort while breathing

Giddiness and loss of balance

Pain in womb
(for pregnant women)

Nausea

Water breaking or bleeding
(for pregnant women)

Inability to focus

Bleeding from nose or ears

Mood swings

 

It is important to remember that even serious injuries from slip and fall accidents may not be obvious immediately after the accident. For example, it may be that the shock has to wear off before you feel pain from your injuries. Only a complete medical exam by a qualified doctor, including X-rays and other appropriate diagnostic measures, can determine the full extent of your injuries.

 

Do you need to see a doctor after you have slipped on ice?

It is imperative you see a doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. Falls on ice can cause fractures easily. Undergoing an examination by a doctor is necessary to discover the exact nature of the injuries you have suffered. For instance, hairline fractures, which can cause a lifetime of pain, may be missed in a cursory self-examination.

Make sure your physician records all diagnostic information such as X-rays and blood-work reports. Ask your doctor to provide a clear and complete opinion regarding your condition. You must also maintain a complete record of medical expense receipts, appointment dates, and the status of your condition.

 

How long should you wait before contacting your lawyers?

In the event of a slip and fall accident, the time period during which the occupier or owner of a property must be provided with notice that a claim is being filed is limited. For slip and fall claims against the city/municipality (such as for falls on a sidewalk or a public square), you have 10 days to file your claim. For claims against private occupiers, such as retail establishments and homeowners, you should get in touch with your lawyers within a few weeks of the accident.

Remember, the longer you wait to speak to a lawyer, the weaker your case may be. It is advisable that you contact your slip and fall lawyers as soon as possible.

Find out how long you have to sue/make a claim against other slip and fall occupiers.

 

Who should you call if you have fallen?

After a fall, passers-by may help you by calling an ambulance or notifying your emergency contact. However, you should have important personal phone numbers available for emergency responders and those providing medical treatment. In the event of a head injury, a person can become disoriented and be incapable of communicating even basic personal information. Having emergency information readily available will also be useful information for any good Samaritans who might come to your aid.

 

Important Phone numbers

 

Ontario Emergency Health:        1-800-461-6431
Services

Personal emergency contact:     (………) ……… – …………
(for you to fill out)

Slip and fall injury hotline:          1-844-722-3529

Emergency responders:                911

City of Toronto helpline:              311

 

Personal details

(for you to fill out)

Name:                                                 

Age:

Emergency contact:

Blood group:       

Special conditions:  

OHIP number:

Details of personal:
insurance

Personal physician:

 

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Important resources

First steps to filing an insurance claim | Tips for a stronger slip and fall case | How long do you have to sue

 

Slip and fall at the workplace

Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents can happen in the workplace too. Inform your employer about the accident immediately. Our slip and fall lawyers in Toronto can help you with employment insurance, as well as the short term and long term disability benefits to which you may be entitled.