Can I File a Personal Injury Claim After Slipping on an Icy Walkway?
A common winter hazard in North Carolina can be found in the icy sidewalks, driveways, and other areas with foot traffic from people who could be easily injured by a slip and fall accident. For those who experience this unfortunate event, there may be something that you can do about it. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a valid personal injury claim against whomever was responsible for keeping the walkway safe for pedestrians. If your injury resulted in medical expenses and/or time off of work, then it may be very worthwhile to pursue such a claim so that you can get the money that you deserve and need to cover your expenses.
It is natural to feel embarrassed when such an accident occurs. Still, if someone else’s negligence is in any way responsible for the dangerous icy condition of the walkway, you may be able to receive compensation from that party or his or her insurance company with a premises liability claim.
The best way to find out if you do have a valid claim is to contact a North Carolina personal injury attorney for a free consultation. The attorneys at Brown, Moore, & Associates are happy to evaluate your claim and get you started in the right direction. Following is some information that you should be aware of if you have slipped and injured yourself on an icy walkway.
Gathering Evidence is Essential
All personal injury claims rely on evidence that the injury occurred, that the injury was caused by a given circumstance, action or lack of action, and that this circumstance was the fault or responsibility of another party. If you have been injured from a slip and fall accident on an icy walkway, then you’ll need to collect evidence of the hazard and the injury. To do this, you should document where you fell, how much ice has accumulated, and who witnessed the accident. Taking photos of the hazardous walkway can be very helpful as evidence, and gathering the contact information of eye witnesses will serve you well later.
From this point, you should seek a full medical evaluation to determine the severity of your injuries. Some symptoms of injuries, like back or neck pain, might not show up right away, so it is vital to seek medical treatment, even if you aren’t sure that you need it. If you are wrong about this, then delaying treatment could be very harmful to your claim.
The Weather Conditions Are Relevant
When gathering evidence to pursue a personal injury claim after a slip and fall accident on an icy walkway, the weather conditions will be important to document. If the weather is bad and the ice is falling or forming at the time of the accident, then you may not be able to prove that anyone was negligent, as nobody had time to address the hazard.
However, if you can prove that the weather conditions at the time of the accident were not such that it was unavoidable, and that there was not any precipitation occurring at the time, then you will have a stronger claim. This information can be shown in photographs or by gathering other evidence of the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
The Location of Your Fall Will Determine Liability
When it comes to determining who is liable for your injury after a slip and fall accident on an icy walkway, it will all come down to the location of the incident. For example, if your accident occurred on the walkway of a store or other business, which is quite common, then this business may be the liable party. In some cases, the responsible party will not be the business, but a contractor, hired by the business to remove such hazards from their property. If your accident happened on the property of someone else, then their homeowner’s insurance may end up being responsible for compensating you in your personal injury claim. When you seek a free consultation at Brown, Moore & Associates, our determined North Carolina personal injury claim attorneys discuss where and how the accident occurred to help you to determine whether you have a liability claim.