Winter weather and snowstorms bring on a host of issues when it comes to pedestrian safety. Uncleared sidewalks are all too common, and for business owners and homeowners, this can be a problem if someone slips and falls and gets injured. Property owners are required by law to keep the walkways in the immediate vicinity of their property clear and safe for people to walk on, and if this is not done, there can be consequences if someone gets hurt—you may be fined or even sued.
What are Businesses and Homeowners Required to Do?
In some states, there exists a “natural accumulation” rule, which relieves a property owner of liability depending on the natural accumulation of snow and ice. In other words, so long as there is not an abnormal danger with the amount of snow that has fallen, it will be difficult to hold the property owner liable for any injuries that happen as a result of the snow or ice. The problems enter when property owners do not reasonably maintain the sidewalks surrounding their properties. If someone slips and falls on a sidewalk that has had snow and ice building up on it for a while, the person in charge of maintaining the safety of that sidewalk can be held liable for the injuries and any costs associated with it.
How to Document Your Case
If you slip and fall on a sidewalk that was left uncleared, it’s essential for you to gather as much information as you can in order to build a case. Take pictures of the area that you slipped if you can, or have someone take photos for you. If there were any people around who witnessed the fall, try and get their information in case you need to verify with insurance companies or legal representatives that the area where you fell was not shoveled or salted. Make sure that you retain any information you can regarding the area where you fell as well as any medical billing or medical attention you received. You may be able to seek compensation for any costs you incurred from falling, be it medical payments, missed work, or otherwise.
If you have been injured after slipping on an uncleared sidewalk, you have rights. Contact Malman Law, a personal injury law firm in Chicago, today.