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Avoiding slip and fall accidents this winter season

As much as we'd like to, we cannot change the weather. This is why you need to learn how to prevent slip and fall accidents this winter season. People of all ages are susceptible to slip and fall accidents.

Some statistics from throughout the United States include:

-- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 1 million people suffer a slip and fall accident each year. About 17,000 of them die from their injuries.

-- Slip and fall accidents account for 15 percent of all job-related injuries.

-- Close to half of slip and fall accidents occur in the home, while 24 percent happen right outside of the home.

- Each year, one in three people over the age of 65 suffer a slip and fall accident.

-- It costs, on average, $28,000 per slip and fall accident for treatment, physical therapy and lost wages.

Slip and fall accidents can be prevented, even in poor weather conditions, if you take the proper measures, which include:.

-- Always mop up any spills the minute they occur at home or in the office.

-- Remove clutter from walkways and steps.

-- Do not leave extension cords near steps.

-- Install non-skid backing to all throw rugs.

-- Fix broken handrails and steps.

-- Shovel all walkways and clear driveways as soon as a winter storm concludes.

-- Spread ice melt on your property once areas are cleared of snow to prevent icing.

-- When you are decorating for the holidays, be mindful of extension cord placement. Put a barrier around them so visitors can be warned.

-- Never walk with your hands in your pockets, even if cold, because they will help you stay balanced should you trip.

- Refrain from carrying large loads of groceries or other items outside during the winter months for risk of slip and fall.

-- During the fall, cleanup leaves so they do not become a fall hazard when wet.

Slip and fall accidents cause serious, even fatal injuries. While the first line of action after such an incident is to seek medical treatment, victims of such incidents need to do whatever possible to preserve evidence as to the cause of the slip and fall. You may have to have a relative or a close friend take photos or otherwise document the cause if it is still there. Your next step should be to learn how to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

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