Baystate's ER preparing for influx of ice-related slip and fall - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Baystate's ER preparing for influx of ice-related slip and fall cases

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

It was nice to see the sunshine today, but with concerns of a refreeze tonight, Baystate Medical Center's emergency department has extra staff on-hand to handle what is expected to be a busy night, treating people who slip on the ice.

Western Mass News talked to the head of Baystate's E.R. today, who said that between the flu and the ice, the hospital has had to add extra staff.  

Also, in case you slip on the ice, we also caught up with a local independent insurance agent to find out who should pick up the medical bills.

Sunshine is a welcome sight - melting some of that snow and ice - but with colder temperatures back in the forecast, "there had been some melt and some refreeze, so we get black ice condition.  We're expecting today being also quite busy," said Dr. Joseph Schmidt, chief of Baystate Medical Center's emergency department.

So much so that Schmidt told Western Mass News that between flu patients and broken bones from the ice, they've had to make staffing changes. 

"We know this is a busy time of the year for lots of reasons, so we increase our staffing levels to the extent that we can.  We're really just preparing for the volume being a higher," Schmidt added.

If you are the victim of a fall and it happens on the property of a business, "you slip in their parking lot, you're covered.  You slip in their store, you're covered.  Those coverage's are afforded through business policies," said Joe Leahy with Leahy and Brown Insurance and Realty in Springfield.

As for homeowners, Leahy told Western Mass News that even if you have a company come and plow or salt your property, you are still responsible to keep your walkway and driveway clear of ice.

"It could be the mailman delivering mail.  It could be UPS delivering a box.  It could be your neighbor.  From an insurance perspective, you need to maintain your property," Leahy added.

However, if someone does slip on your property, you are covered under your required homeowner's insurance policy.

"You have liability and medical payments coverage.  That's what covers someone who slips and falls on your property," Leahy explained. 

If you're renting, Leahy said that your landlord is responsible for all snow and ice cleanup.

Doctors said that the most common injuries from a fall on the ice - as you would imagine - broken bones like wrists, elbows, ankles, knee caps, and hips, as well as concussions.

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