Hazards of Winter Weather
Every October, Denver begins to slide into winter and prepare for the holidays. From Halloween to New Years, friends and families all over are connecting and gathering to celebrate. Thanksgiving, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and other holidays give that festive sparkle to this season. The holidays also tend to increase the amount of time you spend out shopping and traveling.
Unfortunately, the hazards of winter weather make being out and about riskier than normal. During the holidays, Colorado has a greater number of traffic crashes. More people are hurt in slips and falls because of icy and snow-covered sidewalks and stairs. Not to mention, all of the winter sports you and your family may enjoy can lead to serious injuries.
Holiday Car Crashes
There are many reasons why traffic collisions increase during the winter holidays: heavier traffic, poor weather, wet and slick road conditions, and intoxicated driving. In Colorado, there were six fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday, six through the Christmas holiday, and seven deaths over the New Year’s holiday period in 2016.
Keep in mind, these figures are gathered for the entire holiday period, which can be two or three days or longer—it is not just for the exact day of the holiday. And, in addition to these crash fatalities, many more collisions occurred that led to minor and serious injuries.
Drunk Driving Collisions during the Holidays
Drunk driving during the holidays is a serious issue in the U.S. It is such a problem that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has campaigns dedicated to reducing drunk driving around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The Thanksgiving holiday period is especially dangerous across the country. Between 2012 and 2016, more than 800 people died in alcohol-related crashes from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday through 6:00 a.m. Monday.
Other Winter Weather Accidents
Slip and Falls
Not all winter-related incidents happen on the roads. The rate of serious slip and fall incidents goes up when there is snow, slush, and ice on the sidewalks, parking lots and roadways. To reduce the risk of serious falls Denver and most of the surrounding cities require homeowners and businesses to clear their walkways after a snowfall.
Denver requires residential property owners to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours and businesses to do so four hours after a snow storm. Aurora gives property owners or residents up to 24 hours to clear snow—or 48 hours if it’s a snow emergency. Centennial is the only nearby city that does not have a snow removal ordinance.
Colorado’s Premises Liability Act may also make property owners responsible for slip and falls. Owners and managers of a property can be held legally responsible for injuries that are the result of known dangers on their property—such as snow fall and ice buildup.
Dangerous Winter Sports
Colorado is well-known for skiing and snowboarding. It has some of the top destinations for winter sports enthusiasts. People travel to Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Aspen and other ski resorts from all over. However, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice skating all contribute to an increase in injuries during winter. There are always risks of injuries during sports, and even experienced athletes can be involved in accidents. It comes as no surprise that novices on busy slopes or in full ice rinks can suffer serious harm.
According to the National Ski Areas Association, there were 33 catastrophic injuries suffered during the 2016-17 season. These include broken necks, broken backs, paralysis, and severe head and brain injuries. There were also 44 skier and snowboarder fatalities that season.
If You Suffer an Injury This Winter, Call Us For Help
If you or a relative experience a serious slip and fall on someone else’s property, are injured in a car crash or get hurt on the slopes this winter, call an attorney as soon as you can. If there is evidence that another person or business was at fault for the incident and your injuries, then you may have the right to pursue compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
The best way to learn whether you have a personal injury claim is to talk with an attorney. Call, or text, the Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson at (303) 458-5000 to schedule a free consultation.