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3 Winter Injuries – When You Should and Shouldn’t Seek Legal Recourse

Published on January 13th, 2020 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

If winter were a movie category, it would be a horror film. Danger truly lurks in the most unsuspecting places where innocent people never see an injury coming. The sidewalks and roads are icy and slick. The penetrating cold causes stiffer muscles, slower reaction times, and overall contributes to lethargic awareness. The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm, serving Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, and cities throughout Illinois, see an increase of head, shoulder, neck, and knee injuries as a result of winter-time accidents.

Although the likelihood of an injury is increased during the winter, not all winter injuries require legal action. What follows are common winter injuries and examples of when you should or should not seek legal representation.

1) Slip and Falls

A Slip and Fall injury is one of the most common types of injuries during the winter. Most think of slipping on ice outside on the sidewalk, but it can also occur inside of buildings. The snow stuck to pedestrians’ boots starts to melt once inside, which can cause puddles or wet spots on the tile. Depending on the location of a slip and fall, a victim that sustained an injury may have a case if the slip and fall was caused by another person’s negligent act.

For example, if there is a large puddle and the building owners had been warned about its potential to cause injury, but the building owners did nothing to attempt to warn of that potential harm, such as putting up a sign, or they did not dispatch a person to clean the puddle, then there is proof of negligence. In this case, the victim could have a personal injury claim against the building owners. Negligence is always a key factor of a personal injury case, and there is no exception to a slip and fall accident

If a person fell on a slippery sidewalk that had been salted and had a nearby sign that stated the sidewalk was slippery, then the property owners had made significant attempts to address the potential danger. In this case the injury victim would be less likely to have a case against the property owner.

Most slip and falls result in head, ankle, and knee injuries.

If you feel you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, the Illinois Hammer Injury Law firm, with slip and fall attorneys serving Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, and cities throughout Illinois, can help assess your case. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!


2) Car Accidents

There are multiple factors that cause car accidents in the winter: The roads are icy, snow often inhibits a driver’s vision, and it gets darker earlier. Many drivers admit to having trouble driving at night because of poor visibility. Heavy snow also causes more fallen tree branches, which may cause cars to swerve into other lanes and strike another car.

Even if there is a car collision, it doesn’t always mean an injury victim has a personal injury claim. An important thing to remember is that the law considers situations like a fallen tree branch as an “Act of God.” In other words, there was no negligent act that another person did to be held liable for the accident. It is just an unfortunate circumstance. For an occasion like this, the victim would work with their insurance company to remedy the situation as best as possible.

However, if a person was excessively speeding on a dimly lit road and swerved into oncoming traffic last minute to avoid the fallen tree branch, causing a collision, then the driver is liable. He is negligent due to his high rate of speed, even though the branch was there accidentally. The driver behaved unreasonably. The key factor is that there was an act of irresponsible behavior.

The most common injuries after a car accident are head, neck, and shoulder injuries.

If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, we have Illinois car accident attorneys serving Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, and areas throughout Illinois.


3) Workplace Injuries from Maintenance work

Though injuries are common for those doing chore work, such as clearing a driveway of snow, it may become a legal issue when it’s part of a person’s job. Maintenance crews, custodial workers, and more, are at much greater risk of injury during this time because winter conditions require more labor-intensive work.

From salting roads to removing holiday lights employees are hard at work making things cleaner and safer.

Despite the safety precautions taken, sometimes injuries occur. An injury could be a result of falling of a ladder, tearing a ligament when slipping on ice, or suffering a back injury when moving heavy decorations. After a work injury occurs an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In Illinois, 99% of corporations have some type of workers’ compensation insurance, to make sure if an injury does occur they are able to help their employee with their needs.

If legal action is needed, it’s not against the corporation or company itself, but their insurance provider. It’s necessary to get a Workers’ Compensation attorney in Illinois to make sure a victim is properly represented against an insurance adjuster that represents the workers’ compensation insurance company.

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury as a result of a workplace accident, our Illinois Workers’ Compensation attorneys, serving Chicago, Rockford, Aurora, and areas throughout Illinois can help you. Representation can be the difference between receiving hundreds and receiving thousands.


An Overview

The chilly weather, icy conditions, and dark nights may be offset by festivities and cheer, but injuries are still abundant. While not every winter injury requires legal action, you can call the Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm for a free case assessment.



Please note, this blog does not constitute legal advice. Every case is different. We encourage an injury victim to explore their options when deciding  to peruse legal action.


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