Winter is here and after a few mild weeks, we are finally feeling it in the Northeast. For families in Rhode Island and throughout New England, winter means days of snow-filled adventures and nights curled up with a mug of hot cocoa.
Those snowy, outdoor days often involve plenty of physical activity. Time spent outdoors in winter comes with the risk of injury, due to snow and ice and slick surfaces. Always supervise your children when playing outside in winter and make it a rule to observe winter safety precautions such as wearing warm layers and appropriate protective gear when playing winter sports.
Even when you make all the right safety choices, accidents like slips and falls on the sidewalk can happen. Prepare yourself and your children for this winter by familiarizing yourself with the hazards you could face, the safety precautions you should take to reduce your risk of being injured, and what to do if you are.
Common Winter Activities that May Cause Head Injuries
According to GoLocalProv, there are many winter activities that can cause an individual to sustain a head injury. Some examples of these activities include:
|Ice hockey;||Riding snowmobiles;||Sledding;|
Everyday activities become more dangerous during the winter as well, like driving and even walking down the street and across parking lots. Be wary of ice-covered driveways, sidewalks, and outdoor stairways. A walkway that is perfectly safe during the summer can become treacherous when covered with ice and snow.
[su_note note_color=”#f0f1f5″ radius=”0″]Helpful accident prevention tips from the Brain Injury Society include always making use of handrails when they are available and avoiding distractions like your smartphone when you are walking so that you watch where you are going.[/su_note]
It is Cool to Wear a Helmet
One of the ways you can reduce your chances of being injured when playing a sport like hockey or riding a snowmobile is by wearing a helmet. According to HomeTownLife, 90 percent of head injuries could be prevented with a few winter safety precautions. One of the most important precautions is wearing an appropriate helmet.
[su_column size=”3/4″]Helmets cushion the head from impact with the ground and other objects. By padding the skull and brain, a helmet can be instrumental in preventing skull fractures and lacerations. However, Dr. Kate M. Cronan warns on kidshealth.org that helmets cannot prevent concussions. Even helmets that are advertised as “concussion preventing” cannot prevent this type of injury in every instance. Keep this in mind when selecting a helmet for your child to wear when playing winter sports.[/su_column]
A helmet should fit properly and be designed for the sport your child plays. Do not send your child to play hockey in a football helmet, for example. Do not allow your child’s helmet to provide a false sense of security. If your child suffers an accident when playing, take your child to the doctor for a medical examination to be sure he or she has not suffered a concussion, which is often always apparent.
How to Spot a Concussion
Concussions can be difficult to spot largely because they do not have distinctive physical symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a concussion include the following:
|Disorientation;||Ringing in the ears; and||Amnesia of the event that caused the concussion.|
A concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury. Usually, a concussion can be treated simply with rest. However, it is important that a doctor diagnose the individual’s condition after his or her accident and the victim follow the doctor’s instructions.
Who is Liable?
Who is liable for your damages after an accident depends on whose negligence caused the accident to occur. Negligence means a failure to observe one’s duty to protect the safety and welfare of others.
For example, drivers have the duty to obey posted traffic signals and avoid driving while drunk or distracted. A driver who causes a car accident because he or she was text messaging while driving is negligent and may be held liable for any victims’ damages, or expenses, that are a result of the negligence.
In cases other than winter driving accidents, the party who may be held liable for a victim’s injury is not always so clear-cut. For example, if an individual is injured on a ski slope. Skiing is a physical activity that comes with some assumed risks.
[su_note note_color=”#f0f1f5″ radius=”0″]
[su_column size=”5/6″]Can a ski resort owner be held liable for an injury that a victim sustains when knowingly engaging in this potentially-dangerous activity? [/su_column]
[su_column size=”5/6″]Whether the ski resort may be held liable depends on how the injury occurred. For example, if the victim’s injury occurred because of a malfunctioning chair lift or a lack of signage noting a trail and its hazards, the victim may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. But if the injury was due to the victim’s inexperience on the slopes, the victim might have a difficult time making a valid case for compensation.[/su_column]
[su_column size=”5/6″]If you have a question about whether another individual or business in Rhode Island can be held liable for your personal injuries, consult with an experienced Providence personal injury attorney.[/su_column]
Other scenarios where the negligent party might not be completely clear include a child’s injury during a school sport and injuries that occur at the school bus stop. If the school somehow failed to do its part to keep the child safe, it may be held liable for the child’s damages. This is also true if a bus stop injury was caused by a bus malfunction or bus driver negligence.
[su_note note_color=”#f0f1f5″ radius=”0″]
[su_column size=”5/6″]When injuries occur on private property due to hazards or unsafe conditions, the property’s owner may be held liable for the victim’s damages.[/su_column]
[su_column size=”5/6″]Likewise, when injuries that occur because of a town or county’s failure to properly maintain a sidewalk or roadway, the victim may seek compensation from the government entity responsible for that stretch of road.[/su_column]
Work with a Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney
When an injury occurs because of another party’s negligence, the victim could be entitled to monetary compensation through a personal injury claim. To learn more about seeking this type of compensation, contact our team of experienced personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm.