Important Winter Slip and Fall Tips
The rules are simple. If you own property, you are responsible for removing snow and ice. If you don’t shovel your sidewalk and a visitor or a neighbor slips and falls, you may find yourself responsible for that person’s injuries. If you have the legal responsibility to remove snow and ice to prevent winter weather falls, then it is important to know the following tips:
- Check your lease to see who is responsible for snow removal if you rent.
- Make arrangements for another person to clear your sidewalks if you go out of town.
- Use winter weather salt to treat your sidewalks before a winter storm.
- Do not wait for the storm to be over before you clear your sidewalks. Shovel and treat your walkways and sidewalks periodically.
- Maintain responsibility for your property, even if you are physically unable to clear your sidewalks. Hire assistance before the storm starts.
- Check your downspouts. Snow and ice can melt and drain out of gutters. If the water refreezes, it can cause icy patches.
- Remove icicles from your home. If you can’t do this immediately, block off the area with construction tape or warning cones.
- Place nonskid mats on your doorstep and inside your entryway. This will prevent visitors from slipping inside your home.
- Remove any potential tripping hazards before snow falls. It can be hard for a guest to see obstacles under the snow.
- Make sure sidewalks, walkways and driveways are well lit.
Additionally, check with your city or town about the amount of time that you have to clear your sidewalk. A person who slips and falls on snow or ice that is falling may not be able to recover damages from a property owner. However, if the storm has stopped or if the ice is the result of an unnatural cause, then a person who is hurt may be able to recover damages that include compensation for past and future medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured by improperly maintained walkways this winter, please contact the experienced fall injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham. During your free consultation, we will be able to evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action for you. You can reach our attorneys at 800-800-5678 or online at hupy.com.