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Winter Slips, Trips, and Falls in Wyoming

As cold weather settles in, winter safety should be at the forefront of our minds. For many, this means bringing out warm coats and snow boots, installing snow tires, and making sure walkways and entryways are clear of snow and ice.

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen at any time of year, but slippery conditions make the risk of a fall even greater. Fall accidents are the leading cause of head injuries in the United States, so this is no small problem.

Continue reading for information on winter hazards and fall prevention safety tips.

What Is a Slip, Trip, and Fall?

Slips and trips are two different events that can both lead to falls. Falls happen when your center of gravity shifts unexpectedly. 

A slip occurs when there is not enough traction between your foot and the walking surface. Slips are more likely to happen in winter weather when the ground is often slick. 

A trip happens when your foot or leg comes into contact with a hazard. Your lower body stops moving while your upper body continues its momentum, causing you to fall.

Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents

A snowy, slushy walkway presents a risk for slip and fall injuries

Some common fall hazards include:

These hazardous conditions are made even worse when there isn’t proper signage warning guests of the risk of slipping and falling.

Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Slip-and-fall incidents are sometimes mistaken for minor accidents when they can be very serious. Falls can lead to a variety of severe injuries and even fatalities. Some of the most common injuries from a fall accident include:

Workplace Injuries from Slips, Trips, and Falls

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, four people were killed in work-related slip-and-fall accidents in Wyoming in 2021. These fatalities represent around 15% of all fatal workplace accidents in Wyoming that year.

These statistics are consistent with nationwide trends. According to OSHA, around 700 workers die in fall-related accidents in the workplace each year—15% of all workplace deaths.

Workplace safety should be a top priority in every industry. Employers should mitigate potential hazards wherever possible and should educate their employees on fall prevention

Slip and Fall Accidents and Older Adults

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related hospitalizations in the state. One in three older adults (aged 65 and up) experience a fall each year.

Icy conditions in the winter months only increase the risk of falls. 

Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls

The best way to avoid a winter injury is to prevent falls altogether. While you can’t control all the slippery surfaces you might come into contact with, you can take steps to keep yourself safe no matter where you walk.

Watch your step

Walk with short steps, especially in winter weather conditions. By taking small steps, you can keep your center of gravity underneath you. 

Always be on the lookout for potential fall hazards. Keep an eye out for wet or slippery surfaces, cracked or uneven ground, broken or missing handrails

Wear appropriate footwear

Prevent slips by wearing shoes with good treads and/or slip-resistant soles. If the soles of your shoes are worn, they are more likely to lose traction and cause you to fall.

A man shovels his sidewalk to prevent slip, trip, and fall accidents on his propertyTreat potentially slick areas

If you are a homeowner or business owner, it is your responsibility to remove ice and snow from driveways and walkways on your property. Shoveling or using ice melt can keep surfaces safe for walking.

Stay active

As you age, participating in exercise programs or regular activity can help prevent falls. It can also prevent injuries in the event that you do fall.

Before starting new activity, speak with your health care provider to determine how much activity is safe for you.

What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Accident in Wyoming

After your accident, first seek medical treatment as soon as possible, especially if you hit your head. This will help keep you safe physically and protect your right to a personal injury claim. Your injury settlement can help cover the expenses for your medical care.

If your slip-and-fall accident was the result of unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, help is available. A personal injury attorney with The Advocates can help you determine the worth of your case, build your claim, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Your Advocate will be by your side throughout the entirety of your claim. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide updates on your case. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. You deserve legal representation that puts you and your family first. You deserve an Advocate.