How To Avoid Slip And Fall Accidents In Winter

slip and fall

With winter approaching in Chicago, now is the time to increase our awareness of slip and fall accidents. These are potentially severe mishaps that can cause life-changing injuries and disability. Learn below about how to avoid dangerous slip and fall accidents. If you have been injured in one of these accidents, our Chicago slip and fall lawyer at SJ Injury Law can review your case to determine your eligibility for compensation.

What Are Slip And Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents in the United States send over 1,000,000 people to the Emergency Room annually. Property owners should know if people fall on their premises because of a hazardous condition, they could be sued for damages.

This is why it is so important to photograph where the slip and fall accident happened. Slipping and injuring yourself in your home is not legally actionable. After all, you are responsible for keeping your home safe. But, if you fell in a store because of a puddle on the floor, that is another story.

In some instances, you also could have a claim if you slip and fall on ice, snow, or water on the sidewalk. It depends on the circumstances and where the accident happened. There also are other types of slip and fall accidents that you could experience in Chicago:

  • Spillages
  • Tripping hazards
  • Poor lighting
  • Missing or broken handrails
  • Broken steps
  • Broken pavement
  • Potholes

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in any of these situations, our Chicago slip and fall attorney can review the case for you today.

Premises Liability Laws In Illinois

The Illinois Premises Liability Act lays out legal principles that hold owners and tenants liable if someone is injured on their property. A premises liability claim may be filed if a person is injured because of a property owner’s negligence to keep a property safe. Keeping a property safe involves keeping the property in good condition inside and out. It also generally means maintaining parking lots, sidewalks, and similar outdoor areas free of ice and snow in winter to avoid slip and fall accidents.

Use Care When Ice And Snow Is Present

Snowfall in Chicago can be beautiful as you walk through Cricket Hill, Busse Woods, or Horner Park and other popular spots. However, whether walking in a parking lot, crossing the street, or on a sidewalk, take more precautions when walking on snow, ice, or water. Do not try to run or walk too fast on slick surfaces. Instead, choose where you tread carefully and do so slowly to maintain balance.

Next, testing the surface with one foot to see how slippery it is can also avoid a slip and fall accident. Black ice can be almost impossible to see, so step carefully when going where it could be present.

Even after you walk into a public space, such as Millennium Park or Grant Park, continue to be careful where you step. Hard floors and carpeting can be slippery from melted ice or snow being tracked inside. Water also can form on hard floors, creating a severe slipping hazard.

Choose The Correct Footwear

Wearing non-slip shoes is another critical safety tip this winter. Wearing shoes with leather soles or high heels is hazardous because of the slipping hazard. Instead, choose sturdy shoes or boots featuring a neoprene composite or rubber sole. These options will enhance stability as you go through snow and ice this winter. Your feet also will stay warm and dry.

Non-slip shoes are even better if you only walk in areas cleared of snow and ice. If you try a shortcut and walk on an uncleared sidewalk, you could take a fall. Try to stick to walking routes that have been shoveled and salted.

Look For Handrails

Another way to avoid a slip and fall mishap in the ice and snow is to always look for a handrail, wall, or stationary object for additional support. You can lessen the fall risk by keeping your hands free of objects while walking on slick surfaces. That way, if you start to fall, you can catch yourself before hitting the ground.

What Damages Can You Get In A Slip And Fall Claim?

If you were hurt in a slip and fall and someone else was liable for the condition that caused your injuries, you could be eligible for compensation. First, you could receive economic damages, usually money for medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost earnings. Your attorney will help you to gather proof of your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wage information to present to the at-fault party’s insurance company. You could be entitled to past lost wages and future lost earnings as you continue to move toward a full recovery.

Second, you can get compensation for non-economic losses, which include pain and suffering. Many severe slip and fall injuries could lead to weeks or months of pain and discomfort, so you should be compensated. Pain and suffering damages are subjective, so the amount you may receive will vary based on the seriousness of your injuries and case facts and circumstances. You also could receive money for disability, emotional suffering, and loss of quality of life.

Our SJ Injury Law slip and fall lawyer will advocate for the highest possible pain and suffering compensation. If the insurance company does not offer a fair amount of compensation in settlement negotiations, we can take the case to a jury trial.

In limited cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages. If the property owner was particularly negligent or reckless in causing you harm, the court could order them to pay additional damages to punish them.

Speak To Our Chicago Slip And Fall Accident Lawyer Today

Remembering the above tips can be critical to avoiding many Chicago slip and fall accidents. However, a slip and fall serious injury can happen if a property owner is negligent. If you were injured on someone else’s property recently, speak to our Chicago slip and fall accident lawyer at SJ Injury Law at (847) 434-3555 today. Our attorneys have many years of experience obtaining compensation for slip and fall accident victims. We could assist you with obtaining critical compensation to ensure a full recovery.

How To Avoid Slip And Fall Accidents In Winter Weather

slip and fall

Some Illinoisans, interestingly, look forward to a cold and snowy winter when the weather cools. However, slip-and-fall accidents can turn your winter wonderland into a painful nightmare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent states that millions of adults slip and fall in the US annually. Approximately 3,000,000 older adults are also treated in ERs each year for slip and fall injuries. The injury rate climbs dramatically as the weather becomes colder.

Following the tips below can avoid many slip-and-fall accidents this and future winters. But if you slip and fall and another party is responsible, talking to the Schaumburg slip-and-fall lawyers at Claim Your Justice is a smart choice.

Watch For Black Ice

Black ice has its name for a good reason: It is difficult to see before you are on top of it and fall. Black ice is one of the most hazardous conditions drivers and pedestrians deal with each winter. It can cause drivers to suddenly lose control of their cars and is a significant risk to pedestrians to slip and fall.

If you walk in the winter, avoid falling on black ice by only using sidewalks that are cleared of snow and ice. Walk another way if the path has not been treated with sand or salt.

Take Smaller Steps

Falls are common when taking regular, large steps when there’s ice. When pathways are slick, walk slower and use smaller steps. Keeping your feet in constant contact with the ground can prevent falls. If there’s ice, shuffle your feet instead of picking up. If grass and snow are next to the sidewalk, walk on that.

Use A Handrail If Available

If you are walking outside in slick weather on a sidewalk or steps, use the handrail if available. Many of us still slip and fall on slippery steps, even when holding the handrail. Stairway falls can be severe and nasty and cause serious injuries, so walk carefully and slowly.

Choose Shoes With Excellent Traction

Many possible slip-and-fall incidents are avoidable if you have shoes with good grip. OSHA states any time you need to work outside in the winter, you should have shoes with excellent traction.

OSHA adds that pedestrians and workers should have boots resistant to water. Or, choose rubber overshoes with rubber on the bottoms. Just like the tires on your vehicle need good grip, the same is true with your shoes.

Last, if there is a lot of snow and ice, consider just staying home, if possible. Many trips outdoors when the weather is bad can be delayed. If you cannot avoid going out in winter weather, slow down. You can prevent many slip-and-fall accidents by taking your time.

Common Slip And Fall Injuries

These are the most common types of slip and fall injuries. If you have one of these injuries and you think someone else caused the unnatural slick condition, talk to a Schaumburg slip and fall attorney immediately:

Sprains Strains

A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched or torn in a slip-and-fall accident. For instance, you may twist your ankle when falling on black ice. Or, you could sprain your wrist when catching yourself as you hit the ground.

A strain is when a band of tissue or muscle is pulled during an accident. Strains and sprains can be mild or severe. Many heal on their own, but severe injuries require medical care.


If your head hits the ground in the fall, there could be a severe injury. A concussion is a brain injury from a bump or blow to the head. The brain can strike the front and back of the skull, leading to extra damage. Even possibly a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Even a mild concussion is a severe injury, so go to the Emergency Room if you have:

  • Pressure in the head or headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dizziness and balance issues
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Feeling stunned or dazed
  • Coordination problems
  • Cannot recall events just before and after


Fractures are complete or partial breaks of bones. For example, it is common to fracture the wrist or shoulder when catching yourself as you go to the ground in a slip and fall. Others may break an ankle or leg bone when they fall. Fractures can be from mild to severe.

You may have a bone fracture if you experience these symptoms:

  • Pain around the injured bone
  • Extensive swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to move the injured part or limb
  • Inability to move the injured part or limb
  • Inability to put weight on the injured part

How To Prevent Slip And Falls On Your Property

If you are a homeowner or business owner and want to avoid slip-and-fall accident liability, remember these safety tips:

Plan Ahead For Winter

Living in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest means knowing snow will be part of life in the winter. If you use snow removal services, be sure you have an agreement detailing when the workers should come, how much snow triggers service, and areas that will be treated. Also, make sure the snow removal service has insurance that will cover you for a personal injury claim made because of their services. Preventing slip and fall lawsuits means focusing on sidewalks and parking areas with heavy foot traffic.

Check the sidewalks and parking lots near your home or business. See areas where water tends to pool. Rerouting gutters so that they do not dump water onto sidewalks can prevent injuries. Also, repair low areas of the pavement and sidewalks, so water doesn’t collect in the winter.

Remember Indoor Areas

When ice and snow accumulate outside, guests, workers, or visitors will track moisture inside. Therefore, every entrance should be kept as dry as possible to avoid slip-and-fall incidents. Use a mop to clear wet areas and post Wet Floor signs to protect yourself from liability.

What To Do If You Slip And Fall

If you fall on ice, let your hands and arms catch you. It is critical to try and cover your head if you fall on your back. So, tuck your head in and release any objects in your hands. Protecting your head is vital to avoid a potentially severe injury.

After you hit the ground, check for injuries. If you are hurt and cannot get up, shout for help or call 911. Do not try to get up if you feel pain anywhere.

If you are okay enough to stand, get up from the ground slowly. Attempt to roll onto one side and pull yourself up slowly to the hands and knees. Crawl to something sturdy, such as a handrail or car. Us the object to support you while you stand.

If you think someone is responsible for your injures, take pictures of where the fall occurred.

When Should You See A Doctor After A Slip And Fall Accident?

Unless there is a severe head injury or broken bone, most accident victims have pain and inflammation. Doctors recommend using swelling, bruising, and pain as an indicator to go to the Emergency Room. Also, if you cannot move without pain, you need medical attention.

Other doctors say slip-and-fall victims should get medical care immediately if they cannot walk or if the pain is not controlled with pain medication and ice. If you think you broke a bone, get medical care right away. Not treating a fracture can lead to more significant injuries and, possibly, even infections.

If you hit your head on the ground, you should get medical treatment immediately. Even a ‘mild’ concussion can have serious consequences. However, head injuries also can get worse quickly, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you are in a slip-and-fall accident and you think another person is liable, you should speak to a slip-and-fall attorney in Illinois. An attorney can tell you if you have a strong case. If you do, you do not need to pay the lawyer unless you have a favorable settlement or verdict.

Contact Our Schaumburg Slip And Fall Lawyers Now

People in slip-and-fall accidents can suffer wrist, arm, shoulder, back, and head injuries, soft tissue damage, broken bones, spinal disc damage, and even traumatic brain injuries. How will you pay for those expensive medical treatments if you are seriously injured after a slip and fall accident?

The Schaumburg slip and fall lawyers at Claim Your Justice can help to get the compensation you need for medical treatments, lost earnings, plus pain and suffering. Our attorneys will fight relentlessly for your rights if you have a strong case. Our attorneys have secured large settlements for slip-and-fall victims.

Claim Your Justice slip and fall attorneys also help personal injury victims in Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Arlington Heights, and Oak Streamwood. Please contact Claim Your Justice at 847-434-3555 for a free consultation.


This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. An Attorney-Client relationship is created when you sign a written agreement with our law firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an Attorney-Client relationship has been established.