3 Things To Know About Slip And Fall Accidents During Winter Conditions

22 February 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


Were you recently involved in a slip and fall accident due to winter weather conditions? If so, it will help to know the following things about this personal injury that can result in a lawsuit. 

How Do You Know Who Is Responsible? 

If you had your slip and fall accident on a sidewalk, you're likely wondering who is responsible for your accident. Is it a sidewalk the city is responsible for, the homeowner of the nearby property, or a business owner? 

For example, you may be out of luck if it's a city sidewalk because municipalities cannot be sued for these types of injuries. On the flip side, there may be laws that have transferred responsibility to a nearby building owner. This is more common if there is a big apartment building near the sidewalk, where the landlord is responsible for the sidewalk that surrounds the property. It could also be a business owner that uses that sidewalk for foot traffic.

You will need to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine what the local laws are regarding your slip and fall. You won't know for sure until you look at how the local laws apply to you.

How Do You Know If You Have A Valid Injury Case?  

Having a slip and fall on someone's property doesn't always mean that you have a valid lawsuit. There typically needs to be some sort of hazard that could have been prevented, and the slip and fall only happened because of that hazard.

A common winter hazard that you will see is downspouts that drain water onto the sidewalk. If runoff ends up freezing on the sidewalk due to where the water is draining, then it is a problem that could have been prevented by altering where that downspout empties. You could also have a problem where gutters are leaking water onto a sidewalk, which freezes and causes slippery conditions. 

How Quickly Does A Property Owner Need To React To Slippery Conditions?

It's important to know that there needs to be a reasonable amount of time to pass for the slippery conditions to be cleared by a property owner. It is not reasonable for every property owner to have their sidewalks and parking lots safe for walking immediately after a storm. While it is difficult to put an exact number on how much time can pass, know that it is considered when filing an injury lawsuit. You'll have a better time winning a lawsuit if the conditions existed for days rather than hours. 

To learn more, contact a company like Law Office of Robert Karwin.