With the winter months approaching and the holiday shopping season upon us, please be sure to take extra care when you are driving and when you are walking to and from your car. As temperatures fall, ice can easily form on roadways, driveways, steps, parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways. Think you can’t slip and fall on ice because there’s been no snowstorm? Think again. Oftentimes, people slip and fall on ice in areas where there has been no snowstorm at all or after the storm has long passed through the area. Ice can form from the slightest amount of water or liquid on the ground. What typically causes most slips and falls on ice is a dangerous melt and re-freeze scenario. This occurs when ice or snow melts as temperatures rise, frequently in the daytime. The snow or ice melts and begins to form puddles of water. When temperatures begin to fall as the sun sets, the puddles frequently turn into patches of ice, thus putting pedestrians at risk for slips and falls and drivers at risk for skidding. Many businesses put rock salt and sand down after a snow or ice storm, but once the storm passes they rarely remember to continue to look for patches of ice from melt/re-freeze situations. This means that you now must be extra careful when walking or driving. What might look like a harmless puddle of water could actually be black ice. If you walk over it, you might slip and fall. If you driver over it, you could lose control of your car and cause a crash. Asphalt and concrete surfaces are extremely hard and can get extremely slippery from ice, so always pay extra attention when you are walking to and from your car. If, unfortunately, you do slip and fall from ice on the ground, call me to discuss your situation. I am here to help you. The same is true if you get into a car crash from a patch of ice in a parking lot. If you are injured as a result of ice on the ground, you may want to take photos of the area to help prove that there was ice on the ground. Many times, people return to take photos of an area where they have fallen, only to discover that the ice has melted by the time they returned to the site of their injury. If you see ice as you are walking, try to safely avoid the area. Try to walk in well lit areas where it will be easier to see ice that has formed. If at all possible, try to walk only in daylight when it will be easiest to see ice on the ground and ice will be more likely to have melted from sunlight and higher daytime temperatures. We hope you and your families have a safe holiday season and don’t ever need to call an attorney. But if you do unfortunately get injured or know someone who has been injured as a result of ice on the ground, call us to discuss the situation. We are here to help you.
Stephen Di Stefano is an attorney in Stark & Stark’s Marlton, New Jersey office, concentrating in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Di Stefano.