WINTER IS COMING…
We are quickly coming up on the holiday season, however with that comes the handful of months that include harsh winds, freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. Similar to how we spend most winter mornings shoveling our driveways, wiping snow off our windshields, or salting our front steps for the safety of our loved ones, property owners have a similar duty to hold their properties to the same standard. While some may simply blame snow and ice slip and falls on the weather itself, the truth is that they can be easily avoided. Property owners, both commercial and residential alike, are legally responsible for managing the snow and ice removal on their property, for invitees have the right to expect the property to be reasonably safe. This means that a landowner has a duty to make the communal areas of its property safe for invitees if it knows or should know of the condition that causes the unreasonable risk of harm and should expect the invitee will fail to protect themselves against the risk.
Let’s Break it Down:
In slip and fall cases involving snow and ice you must be able to provide clear and compelling evidence to prove that the property owner was negligent in their duty to safeguard their property against accumulating weather hazards. In order to do so, you must show a failure to meet that duty, your resulting injuries, and that their violation of their duty caused those injuries. For example, a property owner does not adequately salt their sidewalk outside their store (the duty), and you fall and break your leg as you are walking through the front door (the injuries)
The exact law is governed by individual city ordinances but the general rule in the United States is that it is the property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care and maintain their property in a safe condition. Failure to maintain these standards of safety for its invitees leave the property owner responsible for the injuries that occur as a result and thereby responsible for the damages that follow.
There are several distinct components to a slip and fall case involving snow and ice that are necessary for financial compensation. Working with an experienced attorney can help you in navigating that process so you can focus your efforts towards your recovery.
Leave a Reply