Winter in New York can be treacherous and can make it very easy to be injured on the job if you slip and fall on the ice. Parking lots, streets, and sidewalks can very slippery during New York winters making it easy to lose your footing and slip on the ice or snow. If you slipped on ice at your workplace, you’re not alone. In 2017 there were 20,460 ice, sleet, and snow-related injuries. Fourteen percent of these (2,890 cases) occurred in the state of New York. The incidence rate for New York was 4.0 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. As you can see, your chances of having on ice, sleet, or snow-related injury are high in New York compared to the rest of the country.
When you fall because of ice, sleet, or snow, you may end up with injuries from minor bruises to a broken bone, torn ligaments or tendons, or even a head injury. In some cases, ice, sleet, and snow-related injuries can be life-threatening. Getting medical treatment quickly can help with a speedy recovery and minimize the long-term effects of the accident. You may also qualify for financial compensation depending on the circumstances of the fall.
Common Injuries from an Ice, Sleet, or Snow Slip and Fall
The extent of slip and fall injuries can vary depending on several factors, including:
- Where you fall
- How you land
- Your age and physical condition
If you have a minor fall, you may just end up with bruises and muscle soreness. If that is the case, the pain should go away in a few days and are unlikely to need extensive medical treatment or rehabilitation. However, it is still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to be safe in case there are issues that you don’t notice immediately or overlook, especially if the accident occurred while on the job, as that may result in a worker’s compensation claim.
Types of slip and fall injuries include:
- Fractured bones are common, especially wrists, when people try to catch themselves. But you can fracture any bone depending on how you land. You could fracture your arm, hip, leg, back, or skull.
- If you land on your bottom, you could get a compression fracture in your back.
- Spinal cord injuries can also happen if the injury involves your back or neck.
- Dislocations of your hip, shoulder, or other joints can happen when you land.
- Fractures of your skull or spine that may require extensive recovery time.
- Traumatic brain injury can occur if your head hits the ground and can cause brain damage. Some brain injuries are minor, and others are life-altering.
Fractures and dislocations can take several weeks to heal, and being in a cast or sling can interfere with your work duties or prohibit you from working at all.
Potential for an Insurance Claim
Whether or not you can file a claim will depend on the circumstances of your fall and whether or not you were on the job at the time of the injury. If your fall was someone else’s fault, you could have a regular liability insurance claim. If you fell on your company’s property, you could have a workers’ compensation claim. However, if it’s still snowing or sleeting, the company likely won’t be held liable. Your employer is generally not expected to keep the sidewalks and parking lots clear when freezing rain is still falling. It may be covered under your company’s workers’ compensation policy, though. In that case, you don’t have to prove liability to have a fall covered. But where the accident occurred will need to be owned by or controlled by your employer. It is always worth filing a workers’ compensation claim to get your medical bills, lost wages, and other associated costs covered. The worst that could happen is the claim is denied.
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