There’s a reason we say the “weather outside is frightful.” Fargo, North Dakota, and the greater Upper Midwest are known for their polarizing weather extremes, and with that, a big polar winter chill. While we have great small, safe gatherings of family, they can also bring their own unique set of aches, pains, and stressors. Falling while winter shoveling, slips on snow and ice, and alcohol or blizzard-fueled road crashes are just a few of the incidents that cause injuries over the winter holiday season.
We hope you don’t have to deal with serious injuries any time of year. That said, you must know your injury risks going into this winter, as well as your legal rights to receive compensation for them. Below are four of the most common winter injuries sustained during the holiday season and what the rights of injured Fargo-area residents might be.
Millions of falls occur each year, and according to the CDC, falls comprise the leading cause of injury and death for adults 65 and older. That risk of injury and fatality becomes greatly exacerbated when snow and ice are thrown into the equation. Even if you’re vigilant and careful, a thin, near-invisible sheet could still catch you off guard.
Property owners generally have a legal duty to keep their properties hazard-free when possible. However, some stores and other businesses might not take proper measures to keep parking lots and sidewalks clear or entryways dry. If floors are wet and there are no warning signs, people can fall and get hurt, and businesses might be held liable.
Winter motor vehicle collisions account for 24 percent of all weather-related motor vehicle crashes per the Highway Vehicle Administration, and with good reason. Winter weather can greatly hinder a driver’s vision, and roads thick in snow and ice can impact driving control. When drivers do not slow down enough in adverse weather, they should be responsible for crashes they cause.
Combine the weather with the extra alcohol that accompanies holiday festivities, and you have a recipe for disastrous, irresponsible driving on your hands. Drunk driving crashes always tend to spike during the winter holidays, causing preventable injuries and deaths. Drivers who violate the law or are reckless should be accountable for all the harm they cause.
It can be fun to take the skates to the ice, your skis or snowboards to the slopes, or the football to the backyard with some family members. However, they can also lead to many slips, falls, sprains, and head injuries. Many of these injuries happen due to poorly maintained recreation areas or defective equipment. When this is the case, another party could be liable for the repercussions.
Aesthetically pleasing festivities can lead to very unpleasant injuries. One major issue is the removal of holiday decorations. Falling from ladders off the roof, tripping on decorations, or lights causing fires or electrical injuries are all common decor-associated injuries. If your ladder or decorations were defective, or a neighbor created a dangerous situation that led to injuries, you should explore your legal rights.
If you’re hurt by someone else’s negligence during the winter months, you can count on the legal team at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. We’ve got the experience you want to get the compensation and accountability you need. For a free initial consultation, email one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, Tim O’Keeffe, Tatum O’Brien, or Sara Monson, today or call the firm at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.