Our Pennsylvania resident readers likely are familiar with the recent weather-related car accidents that occurred in Western Pennsylvania due to freezing rain. What our other readers may not know is that in addition to the numerous car accidents on the icy roads, many people reportedly also suffered slip-and-fall accidents due to the icy conditions.
Although the exact numbers of slip-and-fall incidents are not known, according to emergency dispatchers, many people suffered injuries due to slipping and falling on the ice. An emergency room nursing supervisor reported that in addition to people injured in car accidents, at least 16 people were injured in slip-and-fall accidents. In fact, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center had to activate a Level I alert due to the large number of people coming to the emergency room as a result of weather-related accidents. The situation later was upgraded to Level II, which calls upon all available personnel to report to work at the hospital. Several hours later, the alerts ended.
According to UPMC’s chair of emergency medicine, UPMC treated over twenty patients from weather- related injuries, including falls. Although the doctor did not provide specific details, he noted that those injuries were serious. Other hospitals also experienced an influx of persons reporting to the ER from accidents on the roads and slip-and-fall incidents.
Reports indicate that the public works department did not put down any deicing materials on the roads, even though the rain and freezing was expected. Weather-related hazardous conditions can happen anywhere and with today’s technology, one can know what the weather is going to be like and prepare for it, at least to some degree.
Particularly when freezing rain and icy conditions are expected, it becomes important for property owners, for instance, to ensure that they are salting or using other deicing agents to make their walkways safe. If slip-and-fall incidents were to happen, they property owner could be found liable for damages to a person who sustains injuries in such a fall.
Source: TribLIVE News, “Freezing rain hits Western Pennsylvania, many accidents reported,” Bill Vidonic, Nov. 22, 2014