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Common Winter Injuries in Nebraska

Winter is the time of year for holiday celebrations, playing in the snow, and cozy nights spent with loved ones. Unfortunately, the arrival of cold weather also comes with an increased risk of injury, especially in Nebraska and surrounding areas, where extreme winter weather conditions are not uncommon.

We’ll cover the most common winter injuries in Nebraska and injury prevention tips below.

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

One of the biggest injury hazards during the winter months is the potential for slippery conditions. When ice is allowed to accumulate on walkways and driveways, it creates a serious danger.

Falls can also happen during winter home maintenance, such as clearing snow off the roof or hanging Christmas lights.

While slip-and-fall accidents may seem relatively minor, they can lead to serious injuries. Falls are a leading cause of head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)—in fact, they are the cause of roughly half of all TBI-related hospitalizations in the United States.

Falls are especially dangerous for adults ages 65 and up. One in five falls leads to an injury, such as a broken bone or concussion, and 95% of hip fractures are caused by a fall.

Keep yourself safe from fall injuries by staying aware whenever ice could be present on the ground. Take short, slow steps and wear shoes with good traction.

If you do experience a slip-and-fall accident, seek medical attention, especially if you hit your head. You may have injuries that you aren’t aware of.

A car drives in dangerous winter road conditions during a snowstorm

Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents can happen year-round, but wintertime often brings dangerous driving conditions. When the temperature drops, black ice can form on the road, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Heavy snow, sleet, or fog can reduce visibility, making it easy to accidentally leave the roadway or collide with other cars.

To prevent winter car accidents, use the following safety tips:

  • Check your tire tread, fluid levels, and exterior lights at the beginning of the winter season.
  • Consider installing winter tires if you live in an area with heavy snowfall.
  • Always remove all ice and snow from your windshield and windows before driving.
  • Keep a winter emergency kit in your car.
  • If possible, avoid driving when dangerous road conditions are present.
  • Slow down and increase your following distance—if roads are slick, it will take you longer to stop.

Winter Sports Injuries

A line of snowmobilers ride through the woods wearing protective gear

Whether your winter activity of choice is snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, or sledding, you take on a certain amount of risk when you recreate outdoors. Winter sports accidents can cause sprains and strains, dislocations, ligament tears, broken bones, and head injuries.

Stay safe while having fun by always wearing appropriate protective gear for your sport. Always warm up before starting serious physical activity. When possible, stick with a buddy so that you are not alone if something goes wrong.

If you are involved in a sports accident, seek medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care facility. If your injuries are not emergent, see your primary care physician or a sports medicine specialist. 

Snow Removal Injuries

Snow shoveling typically doesn’t seem like a dangerous activity, and it often isn’t. However, it is a taxing job that requires a certain level of fitness. When done incorrectly, shoveling snow can lead to shoulder and back injuries, muscle strains, or lacerations.

Shoveling snow has also been linked to heart attacks from overexertion. 

Before you shovel your own driveway or walkway, see your primary care physician. Talk to them about your overall fitness and whether shoveling is a risky activity for you. Consider hiring someone to do the shoveling for you, or using ice melt to reduce the amount of snow.

If you do choose to do the job yourself, take frequent breaks. If you start to feel tightness in your chest or shortness of breath, stop immediately and seek medical care.

When shoveling, push the snow forward rather than lifting it up. Wear warm clothes and avoid prolonged contact with the snow or freezing air, as this can lead to frostbite.

What to Do After an Accident

If you have been injured in a fall accident or car crash, always seek medical attention right away. If your accident was the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and other damages. A personal injury attorney can offer you a free consultation to explore your legal options.

The Advocates injury attorneys can help you recover. Our experienced legal team has helped thousands of accident victims over the last 30 years, so we understand the struggles you are facing. We’ll help you get the medical care you need, find local repair shops for your vehicle, and even communicate with your employer if your injuries cause you to miss work.

The Nebraska Advocates are here for you every step of the way. Contact our Omaha office today for a free case evaluation. You deserve a caring, competent lawyer who will fight for your best interests. You deserve an Advocate.