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The real dangers of beautiful winter weather

The winter weather in Illinois can be astoundingly beautiful, with snow piled on the rooftops and ice glistening on the tree branches. On some days, just walking outside makes you feel like you're stepping into a holiday card.

However, this beautiful scenery does come at a price. Ice and snow can be very hazardous, both to drivers and pedestrians. Experts note that simply slipping and falling on a patch of ice can lead to:

-- Fractured bones. -- Back and neck issues. -- Concussions and head injuries. -- Shoulder injuries. -- Strained or pulled muscles. -- Dislocated joints. -- Bruises. -- Cuts and lacerations.

All it takes is one wrong step to slip and fall. It's a hazard in parking lots, on porches and while going up and down the front steps. It's problematic when doing something as simple as walking the dog, if your neighbor hasn't cleared his or her sidewalk after a storm.

This winter, be careful walking on the ice and snow. Wear the proper types of shoes with extra grip. Don't carry anything too heavy when going outside. Most of all, just give yourself extra time to get places so that you're not rushing. Walking slowly and steadily makes a huge difference.

If you do fall and get hurt, though, be sure you know what legal options you could have to seek compensation. In some cases, another person's negligence -- failing to clear a sidewalk for days, for example -- could mean that he or she is liable for your injuries, and you may be able to get compensation to cover your costs.

Source: OSS Health, "Common Injuries Caused by Slipping on Ice," accessed Nov. 20, 2016

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