Boots, climate to blame for spike in winter slip and falls?

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Boots, climate to blame for spike in winter slip and falls?

Slipping on ice or snow is a Canadian rite of passage. If you’ve spent a winter in this country, chances are you’ve endured at least one embarrassing tumble, and in most cases only our egos get hurt: we laugh, dust ourselves off, and continue with our days. But slip-and-fall incidents can sometimes result in serious, long-term injuries, and in these cases Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers’ team of slip and fall lawyers is here to help.

A recent slip-and-fall case in Ottawa is an example of the potential severity of these incidents. In January, 46-year-old network engineer Troy Kraus slipped on a patch of black ice in his driveway as he left his house to walk to work. He broke four vertebrae in his neck.

“I immediately knew it was bad, because I lost all feeling in my body,” Kraus told CBC Ottawa. “I could move my head a little bit, and I could breathe and I could speak, but I had no feeling and no movement anywhere else.”

Kraus’s broken vertebrae were fused together with a titanium rod in an eight-hour surgery, and he now has limited spinal mobility. He can’t move his arms or hands, and is learning to operate an electric wheelchair by blowing into a mouthpiece at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. While Kraus’s unique situation may not warrant a lawsuit, slip and fall lawyers are well-suited to deal with this variety of injury.

Dr. Geoff Fernie, a research director at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, told the CBC last year that some 21,000 Ontarians were hospitalized after slipping on ice in 2015. That number can be attributed, in part, to the poor quality of winter footwear available to consumers. Fernie’s team at Toronto Rehab’s WinterLab recently conducted a test of 98 models of winter boots, and found that only nine of them passed the study’s slip test.

“You’d think winter boots would be adapted for winter, but they’re not,” Fernie said. “Some of the boots are so bad that they couldn’t stand up on level ice.”

In Edmonton, city officials have seen a spike in slip-and-fall complaints over the last several years, and believe our changing climate may bear some of the blame. Periods of warm weather followed by cold spells are causing especially slick surfaces and forcing citizens to be more proactive when maintaining their sidewalks.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve noticed that January to February we get these incredible warm spells with double digit plus degrees when typically you’d be experiencing double digit minus degrees,” said Troy Courtoreille, coordinator of the city’s general enforcement unit, to the Edmonton Journal.

Regardless of cause, slip and fall lawyers, can help injured individuals assess their legal standing and in some cases access compensation for their injuries. In Canada, this is a vital service – slip and falls are common, and can result in injuries that significantly damage quality of life.

If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall event, contact the slip and fall lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team can process the legal minutiae while you focus on your recovery.

 

Greg Neinstein, B.A. LLB., is the Managing Partner at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP. His practice focuses on serious injury and complex insurance claims, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall injuries, long-term disability claims and insurance claims. Greg has extensive mediation and trial experience and has a reputation among his colleagues as a skillful negotiator.
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