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Winter’s over; slip and fall season is not

With winter now over, it’s tempting to assume that slip and fall injuries will decrease across Canada. But as every slip and fall lawyer knows, new risk factors emerge with every season.

The tiny State of Vermont, home to just over 620,000 people, recorded 5,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths due to falls in 2018. The state’s harsh winters contributed to part of that total, but health officials say most falls occur during the spring.

“People don’t necessarily fall in the wintertime,” said Tanya Wells, injury prevention chief at the Vermont Department of Health, to WCAX. “What happens is they stay inside all winter, they get weak, they don’t get the vitamin D from the sun and they come out in the spring and summer and have a fall.”

Other springtime risk factors include unpredictable weather such as heavy rain; dangerous road and sidewalk conditions caused by winter weather and temperature fluctuations; and debris on road surfaces caused by a combination of the two. All of these factors are also common in Ontario.

Another reason for Vermont’s elevated slip and fall numbers is the age of the population. Vermont is a popular retirement destination, and seniors are at increased risk of both falling and sustaining serious injuries from falls. Ontario’s population is also aging, as every slip and fall lawyer knows, and may be fearful of suffering a slip and fall injury.

Worried about a fall? Here’s what to do.

As Wells noted to WCAX, “people who are afraid to fall are actually at a higher risk to fall.”

If you feel at risk of suffering a slip and fall injury, it may be useful to take some precautionary measures. First, arrange a visit to your doctor. They can help assess your fall risk and suggest exercises, procedures, or medications to improve your safety.

Next, develop a plan to follow in case of a fall. Ask neighbours, family or friends to check in if they haven’t heard from you in a while, and make sure you have a way to get in touch with someone if a fall should occur.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If you don’t feel confident about descending a flight of stairs in public, ask for a hand from a bystander. If you’re not sure you can walk to the grocery store or post office, ask for a drive from a friend.

Contact Will Davidson LLP if you’re injured in a fall.

If you suffer an injury in a fall, contact Will Davidson LLP to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced slip and fall lawyer. Our team will determine the viability of your claim and assemble a plan to help you access compensation.

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