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Arlington Heights personal injury lawyersAs the winter season begins, Illinois residents are preparing to deal with cold and inclement weather. While most people will be taking precautions to protect themselves while at home or while driving, it can be impossible to foresee every potential hazard. This is especially true when it comes to snow and ice, which can greatly increase the chances of slip and fall accidents that lead to serious injuries. If you have been injured in this type of accident while you are in a public place or on someone else’s property, you will want to work with an attorney to determine how you can receive financial compensation.

Liability for Fall Accidents Caused by Winter Weather

During the winter, slip and fall accidents may occur on sidewalks or other outdoor walkways due to the accumulation of snow and ice. These accidents can also take place indoors at locations such as restaurants or stores due to wet floors caused by snow, sleet, or rain entering through a building’s doorways or water dripping from people’s shoes and clothes.

Property owners or tenants who are in control of a property are required to protect the safety of their visitors. If a property owner does not take steps to address hazards, they may be held liable for injuries that occur because of their negligence. For instance, a store owner may be responsible for slip and fall accidents that occurred because they did not clean up wet floors, did not use floor mats to prevent the accumulation of water near a building’s entrance, or did not provide warnings about slipping hazards.

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How Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents is Determined

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 800,000 people end up in the hospital each year due to slip and fall accidents. If you are one of those people who has been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to understand what your rights are for getting compensated for your injuries. Not only could you receive compensation for the costs of your treatment, but your attorney may be able to help you obtain other indirect costs.

Determining Slip and Fall Compensation

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Student Dies After Slip and Fall Accident

A student at the University of Washington died due to a blood clot in her lung according to the examination performed by the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Hayley Smith, 19, was a sophomore at the university when the university's police department responded to a slip and fall accident outside the Electrical Engineering building. Smith suffered a severe head injury.

Although it was not confirmed that she fell due to ice on the sidewalk, signs the next day were posted that the sidewalk was closed. The police department for the university found the medical examiner's determination of a death to be consistent with reports from witnesses and their investigation.

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New Jersey Man Facing Charges for Fraudulent Slip and Fall Claim

A man from New Jersey is facing charges of insurance fraud and theft after he faked a slip and fall accident in an effort to collect insurance money. Authorities say that Alexander Goldinsky was caught on video faking his fall at a business in Woodbridge. He worked as an independent contractor and purposely threw ice on the floor, then placed himself on the ground and lay waiting until someone found him.

Goldinsky then filed an insurance claim for treatment that he received at the hospital as well as the ambulance service. He was arrested on January 15 for the fraudulent claims.

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Chicago Area Hospitals Reporting Increased Slip and Fall Accidents

Imagine yourself outside shoveling the snow off of your driveway. You go to move something out of your way when you slip on the ice just under the snow's surface. As you fall, your instincts kick in and you reach out with your arms to break your fall. While this may seem like a good idea, you realize while you are sitting in the emergency room that there really is not a good way to break a fall on the ice. You have broken your wrist and now have to follow up with an orthopedist later in the week. You may be facing surgery just by shoveling some snow.

Sadly, this scenario is not uncommon. Chicago area hospitals are reporting that 90% or more of their patients in the emergency room lately have been there due to slip and fall accidents. One doctor reported treating 15 to 20 slip and fall patients in one shift. That figured out to more than two per hour, and more than he has seen in his 34 years of practice.

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