With a chill in the air, it is undeniable that winter is here. In the northeastern part of the United States, snowfall creates many hazards. Homeowners and business owners should be aware of their responsibilities regarding snow removal on their property. New homeowners must understand that with home ownership also comes the potential for liability if someone is injured on their property due to the presence of snow or ice.
Preparing for Snow and Ice Removal
In preparation for snow and ice, homeowners and business owners should purchase shovels and rock salt. Rock salt can be put down on walkways and driveways before the snow falls to reduce accumulation and reduce slippery surfaces after a snow storm. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you are unable to remove snow down to the pavement as a result of people walking over the snow prior to shoveling or because of the consistency of the snow. Therefore, putting salt down before and after shoveling can be effective to reduce that last layer of remaining snow on the ground.
If you are unable to shovel yourself, plan for a neighbor or company to shovel for you. This is crucial because if snow continues to accumulate and a person is injured as a result, it could leave you liable for their medical costs or lost days of work.
Property Owners Can Be Liable for Injuries
Homeowners and business owners will not be liable if the snow has just finished falling or if the snow continues to fall and a person injures themselves on a walkway. Laws in most states recognize that it is impossible to remove snow completely and that it cannot be done every few minutes during a snow storm.
Liability of a property owner may increase where snow has accumulated in a way that creates an obvious danger. This can also be true if, after shoveling the snow, it was piled up in a way that is dangerous to people walking by. Snow should not be piled high or precariously that presents a risk for injury. Additionally, if snow is accumulating on an awning or in an area that could create a hazard for pedestrians, this could also give rise to liability. If there is a persistent condition that continually creates a patch of ice on a property, this could also give rise to the homeowner’s liability where a person is injured.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Assist with Winter Weather Accidents
If you have been injured on a premises due to the negligence of another, the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can evaluate your case. We stay current on the latest premises liability laws so you can make the most informed decision on how to proceed. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With office locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.