Beware the Polar Vortex! Cold Weather and Personal Injury
The polar vortex is upon us. With temperatures dropping down to the single digits throughout New Jersey for the next couple of days, there is some concern about those who have no choice but to be outside in this arctic air. As you can imagine, cold weather can increase your risk of injury.
If you are one of the mighty few braving the elements in the next few days, keep an eye out for the following accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents
We usually attribute slip and falls to snow and ice, something that cold weather can exasperate. More than 1 million hospital emergency room visits are associated to slip and falls each year, causing broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. With temperatures rising above freezing then quickly plummeting, black ice can form on sidewalks and parking lots. So, remember to pay special attention when walking on these types of surfaces.
Snowy weather makes roadways challenging to navigate. Adding rush hour traffic and icy conditions is a recipe for disaster. Although four-wheel drive vehicles may have an advantage over a car with front-wheel drive, nothing can stop a car from slipping and sliding on black ice and snow covered surfaces. If you must drive on snowy roads, stay cautious, take your time, and remember to keep your eyes on the road and not on your phone.
Working in the frigid weather increases your risk for hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold weather injuries. Extreme cold can cloud your thoughts and cause you to make poor decisions. If you have to work, make sure you bundle up, try to limit your time outside as much as possible, and immediately report any signs of illness to your superiors.
Space Heater Accidents
Colder temperatures have many of us reaching for space heaters to help stay warm. However, space heaters come up with their risks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 20,000 residential fires occur every year because of the use of a space heater. Seventy-four percent of fire-related deaths can be traced back to the use of fixed and portable space heaters. If you are planning to use a space heater, make sure it’s functioning correctly and don’t leave it running alone.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Last week, we discussed the dangers of carbon monoxide. If your heating uses gas instead of electricity, the risk of CO poisoning is a very distinct possibility. To protect your home and yourself, have your heating system checked every year by a qualified technician. Clean and inspect your chimney, and make sure your gas appliances are properly vented.
If a Personal Injury Occurs
If a cold weather accident does occur, who can be held responsible for your injuries? It all depends on whether the accident was a result of someone else’s negligence. If this is the case, you may have cause to file a personal injury claim against the individual or entity.
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has helped thousands of clients in New Jersey with their personal injury claims. With 30 years of experience in injury law, his aggressive, relentless client representation has led to a successful track record and the respect of his peers.
If you were involved in a cold weather accident such as a slip and fall accident or a car crash, don’t wait any longer. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.