Despite lingering warm weather, a quick glance at the calendar reminds us that we're now nearly half way through October of 2017 and winter weather is on the way to New Jersey shortly. Fall and winter are, of course, a mixed bag. Halloween gives way to Thanksgiving, which gives way to Christmas and New Years, and many people both love and loathe holiday season. Wherever you fall in that spectrum, you will likely find yourself dealing with cold weather conditions one way or another. With cold weather on the horizon, so is the near constant possibly of snow and ice in yards, roads and sidewalks. This means, inevitably, that many people will slip and fall, possibly injuring themselves quite seriously. Do you know what to do if you suffer an injury due to falling down in a public place, or on someone else's property? Most people think that such an injury only happens to other people, or that the only people who claim to hurt themselves this way are gaming the system. However, slip-and-fall accidents are very common, and often very serious. Where to start with a slip and fall accident Should you slip and suffer an injury because of snow, ice or other weather-related hazards, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Such a claim is generally brought against the person or entity who is responsible for the property where the accident occurred. However, there are many factors that may affect the strength of a claim, so it is important to consult with a legal professional to understand the strength of your claim and build a strategy to pursue fair compensation to pay for your medical expenses and other losses. Once you understand the legal issues surrounding your accident, you can more confidently move forward with your claim. Slip-and-fall accidents involving snow and ice In general, business owners or other parties responsible for a public area do not usually bear a legal responsibility to keep the area around their property free of ice or snow that naturally accumulates. However, there are some exceptions. If, for instance, snow or ice accumulates in a way that is unnatural or poses an obvious great danger to those using the property, the owner may face liability. This is often the case if ice forms in a parking lot, or on a sidewalk that is owned by the business or property owner. Furthermore, a business owner may face liability if he or she does not provide proper lighting in an area where snow or ice may cause dangerous conditions. Act quickly to protect your rights If you do suffer a slip-and-fall injury on snow or ice this coming winter season, be sure to seek out proper legal guidance immediately. The sooner you begin building a strong claim, the sooner you can pursue fair compensation and get back on the road to recovery.