So it's snowing and icy outside. That makes it treacherous to maneuver around. Sidewalks and parking lots are coated with snow, ice and in some, cases, something called "black ice". What happens if you find yourself on the ground, after slipping and falling due to these conditions. If that happens, please make sure to photograph the conditions causing you to fall, either immediately if you are able, or as soon as practical after the accident occurs. This will preserve evidence of the condition that caused your accident.
If you fall during the course of the storm you probably do not have any recourse against the responsible party. That is because snow and ice removal is usually not required during a storm. The law gives the property owner, or responsible person a reasonable amount of time after the storm ends to begin and complete removal of the dangerous condition. However, once the storm has ended, property homeowners, or other responsible party, such a snow removal people, pursuant to a contract with the property owner, must clean their property properly and completely; which means removing any dangerous slippery or other hazardous conditions, If a proper cleaning is not performed, and a hazardous condition remains, if you are caused to fall due to this hazardous condition, you may have a claim for any injuries you sustain.
A personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a claim for your slip and fall. The attorney can help explain whether the cleanup activity was reasonable and, if in fact, negligence occurred. You have to look at each incident on a case by case basis to see if the person responsible for cleaning the snow created a dangerous condition by reason of the cleanup efforts. Another issue to be addressed is whether the responsible party had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous, slippery condition. This means did they actually know it existed or did it exist for such a long period of time that they should have noticed the condition before you fell.
There are instances when even if the area was cleaned, before you fell, sometimes the temperature rises so there is snow and ice melt and then it falls and there is a refreeze. The person responsible for the snow and ice removal is required to make sure that if there is a refreeze, the area in question is continually made safe.
If you fall on snow and ice you should fill out an accident report so the incident is on record. I would always recommend that you get the police involved and if there are witnesses you should get their names and addresses. And most importantly, to repeat what I said above, take a picture as soon as possible so that you can capture the actual conditions that caused you to fall.
There are many factors to consider before suing a party, and a personal injury attorney can help you analyze the situation. If you have fallen victim to a slip and fall incident, give us a call.