Have you ever slipped and fallen in front of somebody else’s property and wondered who’s to blame? Is the property owner to blame, are you to blame, or is the city to blame? Do you know what your legal rights are when it comes to winter injuries in public spaces? Well, the answer is a little bit trickier than you might think. There are a few things to keep in mind:
Property Owner’s duty vs. Pedestrian’s Duty
Slip and fall injuries usually happen in public spaces like sidewalks. Property owners have an obligation to remove the snow and ice in order to minimize the likelihood of an accident. Whether they decide to hire plow companies to do that for them or they do it themselves, it is the property owner’s duty to keep it as safe as possible.
On the other hand, pedestrians are obligated to be extra careful during winter due to the problems associated with snow and ice. How this will affect your injury coverage for slip and fall accidents differs from one jurisdiction to another.
The Natural Accumulation rule vs. Reasonable Care
Depending on where your accident happened, the property owner may or may not be held accountable for your injury. In certain states, the “natural accumulation” rule frees the possessor or the property owner of any legal liabilities if a natural accumulation of snow and ice causes an accident. However, most states require “reasonable care” of property. This means that property owners can be held liable for not taking reasonable steps towards removing potential hazards.
Slip and Fall Damages
If it has been determined that you have suffered an injury as a result of the other party’s negligence, your slip and fall lawsuit can result in different types of damages:
-Compensation for medical expenses
-Pain and suffering caused by the injury
If possible, be sure to document the incident as thoroughly as possible. Information about weather conditions, pictures of the property, and assistance from an experienced lawyer can help ensure fair compensation for all injuries sustained.