With the arrival of winter months, the risk of experiencing a fall due to snow and ice becomes a real possibility. If someone falls and sustains a personal injury because of the snow and ice on another party’s property, the incident may need to be examined for an indication of a failure to exercise reasonable care. In the event that another party, typically the property owner, is held accountable for the conditions of the premises that caused the personal injuries, the victim may be able to take legal action and seek financial compensation for the unexpected expenses associated with the injury.
A Duty of Reasonable Care
Property owners have an obligation to the public to practice a duty of care when it comes to maintaining their buildings and land. When snow and ice are an issue, for example, walkways and parking lots should be adequately managed to reduce safety hazards to anyone walking or driving in those areas. If an injury occurs, it will need to be determined whether the property owner took reasonable steps to prevent winter-related falls, such as clearing walkways and steps of accumulated snow and ice.
Who Is the Responsible Party?
The public also has to exercise a duty of care and proceed with caution in areas that may have accumulated snow and ice. Thus, when an injury occurs because of a fall, it is critical to note details of the incident. Such documentation can provide the proof of who will ultimately be responsible for the cause of the injury. When the injury occurs on someone else’s property, the property owner will generally be responsible for anticipating and preventing harmful conditions from developing on the grounds.
Taking Legal Action
A victim of a slip and fall can suffer from bruises, sprains, bone breaks, or worse. In order for a party to be held accountable for the personal injury, evidence needs to be available indicating that the property owner failed to use reasonable care in preventing snow and ice from accumulating to a dangerous degree. Examples of conditions with potential to harm people on or near the property can include:
- Patches of ice that formed from water that accumulated due to a clogged drain, burst pipe, or other water source
- Poor outdoor lighting
- Broken and uneven sidewalks
- Slippery floors or stairs in buildings from snow melting
- The lack of a handrail on steps
If you or someone you know has experienced a fall and sustained an injury due to the snow and ice on another party’s property, call the Gladstein Law Firm for legal assistance with your claim. We have the extensive experience necessary to help determine the responsible party involved and we can advise you on the best course of action to take when seeking compensation for injuries. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours. The Gladstein Law Firm makes your rights a priority.