Taking a holiday vacation into colder climates for the winter is a great way to pass the time and bring your family together. But it also means having to deal with ice and snow on walkways, stairs, sidewalks, and so forth. Our recent weather has made this an important issue right here at home. Slipping and falling on the ice might seem like an inevitability, especially if property owners are negligent in maintaining clear and safe walking paths. What can you do if you or a family member slips and gets hurt this winter and you think someone else is to blame?
Liability for Slips on Sidewalk Ice and Store Entrances
The majority of icy slip and fall accidents in wintry climates occur on public sidewalks and entrances of businesses. Liability in these cases can be difficult to establish. All property owners must exercise reasonable care to the premises and make things safe for guests. Every property owner is expected to take reasonable measures to keep the sidewalk directly in front of their store clear of ice. They can sprinkle salt and sand on the ground, shovel away snow, put up warning signs, and/or hire a company to take care of this duty on their behalf. Failing to make any attempt to prevent slips on the slick ground outside could place liability on their shoulders in a premises liability claim.
At the same time, each pedestrian has to exercise reasonable care for their own safety and try to stay out of danger. Acting recklessly or negligently while traversing icy walkways – such as running or texting on a cellphone instead of paying attention to the ground ahead – could preclude an injury claim. If you slip and fall on ice during an active snowstorm, the liability of the storeowner can be reduced since any effort they made would arguably be inadequate to prevent the accumulation of the dangerous condition.
Evidence & Arguments Are Crucial for Your Case
With the liability in a slip and fall case originating from an icy walkway or snowy sidewalk being notoriously complicated, it is so important that you gather any evidence you can regarding the accident. Security camera footage, testimonials from passersby, and medical records are all useful for proving your side of the story. Document the dangerous conditions and take photographs of what caused the fall. All of this evidence is even more powerful when placed into the hands of an experienced and capable personal injury lawyer.
At Jones & Swanson, our Marietta premises liability attorneys – who have more than 75 years of collective legal experience – are ready and waiting to hear your case and construct a powerful legal argument on your behalf. Call our team at (770) 427-5498 to request a no-cost consultation, during which you can learn the rights of someone who slipped, fell, and got hurt on an icy sidewalk.