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Cold NJ winters means icy and hazardous walking conditions

Although we may have been fortunate thus far this winter with no significant snow storms here in northern New Jersey, we should not let our guard down. The weather has still been cold, often below freezing, which means that conditions exist for icy and hazardous conditions on sidewalks and roads, especially on asphalt, where black ice, often at night, can lead to a serious slip and fall accident and a very serious injury.

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents are quite common here in the United States. According to the United States National Safety Council, or NSC, the numbers are alarming to say the least. In 2014, over 32,000 Americans died from slip and fall accidents, including approximately 600 while in the workplace. Injuries related to slip and fall accidents were in the millions, with approximately 2.5 million Americans treated in emergency rooms in 2013 due to such accidents. Among the most common injuries are head injuries, spine injuries and hip fractures. Ninety-five percent of these were the result of a slip and fall accident.

Serious slip and fall accidents can lead to significant injuries such as spinal, neck and brain injuries that could disable a victim for a lengthy or indefinite amount of time. Thankfully, if it can be proven that a victim's injury is expected to last at least a year or end in death, and the injury is debilitating enough to prevent a victim from maintaining gainful employment, the victim may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries.

Although necessary precautions can always be taken, accidents are accidents and can strike anyone at any time. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a serious slip and fall accident, you may want to speak with a law professional to see whether you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits for your injury.

Source: National Security Council, "Slips, Trips and Falls," Accessed Jan. 31, 2017

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