With winter comes the inevitable snow and icy conditions in many parts of the country. And while most people are very good at clearing the ice and snow off of sidewalks and other walking paths, there still may be a time when someone was not quite as diligent and as a result, you fall and hurt yourself. You do have rights if you've been injured because someone else was negligent in their snow removal duties, and this article will give you a brief overview on what you can do to enforce those rights.
Duty of Care
Every property owner has to use reasonable care when it comes to maintaining snow and ice on their sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Whether they hire a third-party to take care of the snow and ice removal, or they do it themselves, they must take every measure to make sure anyone who has legal access to their property is safe. So, when you fall on someone's slippery driveway or sidewalk, you need to prove that the owner did not exercise their duty of care.
It's important to remember that you also have a duty of reasonable care when walking in an area that you know or should expect may be a bit icy or snowy. You can't just go running across a parking lot with icy spots, slip and fall, and then place the entire blame on the property owner. You need to exercise caution when walking in areas where it's slippery.
If you do slip and fall on an icy surface, you may be able to recover the cost of any out of pocket medical bills by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the property. You may even sue the contractor who was responsible for clearing away the ice and snow. Also, if you hurt yourself bad enough to keep you out of work, you may also ask for compensation on lost wages.
Depending on the extent of your injury, it's also possible you may be able to recover pain and suffering for the injury, and any impact it's had on day-to-day activities, like household chores, exercise, and leisure activities. It's best to sit down with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in slip and fall cases. They'll be able to go over your case, gather all the necessary proof to prove negligence, and advise you on the type of damages you may be able to recover.