Don’t Slip and Ignore Who’s Liable When Icy Weather is Forecasted
Blog Post Written By Michael Miller
With the weather finally turning cold, snow and ice are a possibility. Now, is a good time to understand who’s responsible if someone were to slip and fall while on your property. I would like to share how property owners’ maintenance duties, the weather, the location and your own carelessness can affect a personal injury claim for a slip and fall accident on ice or snow.
Accidents such as falling, due to snow and/or ice when in a public place, typically happen in parking lots or on sidewalks outside of businesses. Under premises liability law, property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe and hazard-free. This includes keeping walkways, driveways, parking lots and other common areas clear of ice and snow.
The legal duty of care and subsequent liability of negligent property owners varies. The courts consider each injury case on its own merits. There are no absolute rules about how much ice or snow determines a property owner’s negligence. The same applies to how much time a property owner has to remove the ice or snow before becoming liable.
In most cases, as long as the property owner did not interfere with or alter the accumulation, and as long as no abnormal danger exists, it will be difficult to hold the property owner liable in states that follow this rule.
However, if you slip and fall, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills by making a claim against the property owner and perhaps even the contractor who was responsible for clearing away snow and ice. You could also recover lost wages if you can demonstrate that your injury caused you to miss work — or to work less during your medical treatment than you otherwise would.
In addition, you may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering that the injury caused you, as well as for their negative impact on your regular activities, such as exercise, chores, or leisure pursuits like playing on a sports team.
It is important to document as much about the area where you fell as quickly as possible. Make sure that you or someone you trust document the area where the incident occurred with photos and videos.
For more information on what do if you’ve suffered a personal injury or if should you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, please contact Michael Miller or Dustin Hightower at 404-857-2960 or visit www.MillerHightower.com.
Miller & Hightower, P.C., Attorneys at Law
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