Premises Liability: Slip & Fall Cases
Most people are surprised to learn that property owners are not automatically liable for falls that occur on their property due to inclement weather. Property owners generally have a duty to make reasonable efforts to clear snow and ice from the travel portions of their property within a reasonable time. If snow and ice accumulates to the point that it forms “hills and ridges,” then a property owner may be responsible for falls that occur. The owners and occupiers of property open to the public are held to higher standards of what are reasonable efforts and what is timely; they must also look for and correct dangerous conditions that the people coming onto their property are unlikely to notice. The people who fall on snow and ice may also be held accountable for their own injuries, especially if they choose to walk on open and obvious snow and ice when there is a safer alternative route available. The lesson for all of us is that we should shovel our walkways and driveways, spread anti-skid or ice melt, look where we’re walking, and tread carefully.
Even if you are not “on the clock” you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured while going to or from your car – if you are required to park in a company designated parking lot. You should immediately report any such injuries to your employer. One of the most difficult aspects of any type of premises liability case is proving the conditions existing at the time of the incident. The best way to document existing conditions is to promptly photograph the area where the incident occurred. Contact us and request a free consultation.