The upper northeast of the United States is known to have some of the harshest winters in the country due to the low temperatures and significant amount of ice and snow. Property owners in Connecticut know that they need to take extra precautions during the winter months to make sure their properties are safe for visitors. Failure to take reasonable steps to maintain a property during the winter can cause slip-and-fall accidents.
Slip-and-fall accidents are common during winter
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur any time of year for a variety of reasons. However, they may be more likely to occur during the winter months due to weather-related conditions. Slip-and-fall accidents during a Hamden winter may be caused by:
- Gutters funneling water onto walkways or clogged gutters, causing water to drip on to walkways.
- Snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots or entryways.
- Snow-covered curbs causing people to misstep.
- Wet or unsecured mats in entrance ways.
- Uneven pavement or potholes that collect water, which turns to ice.
Property owners’ duty to legal visitors
Employers, landlords and other property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent slip-and-fall accidents from occurring and protect legal visitors from injury. Legal visitors may include invitees or licensees but not trespassers.
Property owners may take the following steps to reduce the likelihood of these accidents:
- Conduct regular inspections to locate dangerous conditions on the property.
- Turn gutters and downspouts and redirect water flow away from walkways.
- Warn visitors about potential dangers (e.g., post wet floor signs).
- Salt all walkways to prevent melted snow or ice from refreezing.
Property owners have a duty to make a reasonable effort to prevent snow and ice hazards. When a slip-and-fall accident occurs, property owners may be held liable for the victim’s injuries if they knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the accident and failed to take reasonable action to maintain their properties.
A personal injury attorney can help determine whether you are entitled to damages following your winter slip-and-fall accident.