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Winter Injuries That Require a Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer

Minnesota winters are both snowy and cold, and create conditions that make walking and driving hazardous. Avoiding personal injury during this time of year requires caution, careful planning, and making the right preparations each time you walk or drive in snowy or icy conditions.

However, winter injuries can still happen despite your careful and diligent efforts. The reason is the actions or inaction of others can cause a personal injury that might require the services of a Minnesota personal injury lawyer. Two common winter injuries are those caused by falls and car accidents.

Avoiding Winter Fall Injuries

Avoiding falls starts with using the right footwear. Avoid smooth soled shoes, especially those made of leather or plastic. They are treacherous on both snow and ice. Grooved soles made from neoprene or non-slip rubber work best in snow and provide limited traction on ice.

Avoid ice by walking around it in the snow if you must. Snow provides better traction. When you have no alternative, cross short patches of ice by walking like a penguin. Keep your weight over your feet with knees slightly bent and your toes pointing outward at an angle. Slowly shuffle your feet along a little at a time. This maximizes your stability. Never walk in poorly lit areas, or in the snow or ice while holding things in your hands.

Common Winter Fall Hazards

These include sidewalks or parking lots filled with snow or ice. Surfaces covered with a thin layer of snow can hide ice that can catch you off guard. Avoid ice covered stairs and use extreme caution on any stairs not cleared of snow and lacking proper treatment. Any outdoor surface with poor lighting is a potential slip and fall hazard.

Depending on the situation and the individual, a fall can be a minor affair or cause serious and even life threatening injuries. A bad landing can break bones, injure the spine or cause a brain injury. The elderly are especially vulnerable to falls.

Property owners and businesses can be held liable for failing to maintain their property (including sidewalks) in a safe condition.

Car Accidents

Unlike snowcats and snowmobiles, cars weren’t meant for the snow. Yet life must go on during the winter, and all motorists must exercise caution on snowy or icy roads.

  • Use snow tires for the best winter traction. Their tread and rubber provide a much better grip than all-season tires.
  • Remember that posted speed limits are for ideal road conditions. Slow down in slippery conditions and allow extra following space behind the vehicle in front.
  • Look farther down the road and give your driving extra focus because your ability to swerve and brake is severely limited on snow or ice.
  • When possible, avoid driving during storms by delaying your trips.
  • Many car accidents are caused by motorists who drive too fast or aggressively for the conditions and who fail to allow adequate following distances.
  • Staying off the road late at night when intoxicated people often drive will also reduce your accident risk.

When to Use a Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer

You should consult with a personal injury lawyer for injuries that put you out of work, cause chronic pain, hospitalization, surgery, or involve lengthy recovery periods. If your insurance isn’t paying you enough to adequately cover your medical expenses or is refusing to make any payments, you also need a good lawyer to look into the problem. Likewise, see a lawyer when a serious injury was caused by another’s reckless or negligent driving, or by another’s failure to clear snow or ice off sidewalks or parking lots in a timely manner.

If any of the above difficulties seem to describe your situation but you aren’t sure if a lawyer is appropriate, contact us in any case because only a skilled lawyer can evaluate the merits of your case.