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What you need to know about ice-related slip-and-fall accidents

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Premises Liability |

Winter weather has arrived, and with it has come dangerous property conditions. Snow and ice can cause slippery sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, any of which can create a highly dangerous situation for pedestrians. If you’ve slipped and fallen on ice and suffered injuries as a result, then you might be wondering about your next steps. After all, caring for your injuries can be painful and costly, and you might not know where to turn for help.

The good news is that legal action might provide you with some guidance and support.

Can you take legal action against a property owner for a slip and fall?

It depends on the circumstances, but most likely yes. However, to gain a clearer sense of how you’ll need to pursue your case, you’ll need to first figure out who owns the property in question. This is because you might have to approach your slip and fall case differently depending on whether the property is owned by a business or an individual.

Pursing an icy sidewalk slip and fall case against a business

Businesses have an obligation to keep their premises free from hazardous conditions, and they must identify and correct those dangerous situations within a reasonable amount of time. In the winter months, this means that business owners should frequently inspect their premises to see if walkways and parking lots are iced over.

If they are, then they should immediately act to clear them. When they fail to do so or they don’t do so in a timely fashion, then you’ll be justified in taking legal action for the damages that you suffered in your slip and fall accident.

If you suffered injuries after slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk in front of a residential property, then the case might be a little more complicated. This is because the local municipality, rather than the homeowner, has an obligation to clear ice from public sidewalks.

But the property owner may become liable if the accident occurs on their personal walkway or driveway. However, the property owner is given some time after a storm clears to remedy icy areas of their property, and your ability to sue will depend in part on your status when you enter the property. For example, if you’re an uninvited solicitor who slips and falls on an icy driveway, then you might not be in as strong of a position as someone who was invited onto the property.

What about falling in the snow?

A similar analysis is conducted when you slip and fall in the snow. However, before taking legal action, you’ll want to analyze any applicable local ordinances regarding snow removal so that you have a clearer sense of who was responsible for the dangerous conditions that led to your accident.

Tracking your damages

As you build your slip and fall lawsuit, you’ll want to diligently gather evidence and track your losses. This includes retaining your medical bills as well as receipts and invoices tied to your accident recovery. But you should also keep a journal that details how your injuries have impacted your day-to-day life. This will give the jury a clear picture of the non-economic losses that you’ve suffered.

Take control of your slip and fall case

Pursing a legal claim after a slip and fall accident can be confusing if you’re unaccustomed to this area of the law. Yet, you don’t have to figure out how to navigate it on your own. Help is available when it comes to building and presenting your case, as well as in developing a strategy for your recovery.