The winter season in the northeast brings hazards of snow and ice. Slip and falls can happen at any time, but if someone falls on another owner’s property, what happens next? A fall on snow or ice can cause anything from minor to major limb, back, and head injuries, among others, and anyone at risk needs to know what the remedies are for the injured.
Slip and falls often happen on sidewalks or in parking lots of public facilities or on a homeowner’s sidewalk. The person walking has the responsibility to exercise reasonable care where they walk, but the property owner also has responsibilities, which is the question most people have when a fall occurs, and they seek compensation for their medical treatment.
The property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining conditions on their property. This involves snow clearing and ice melting on areas that pedestrians will use. However, if a property owner has worked to address the hazard, they may not be liable. For example, in the case of significant snow and ice accumulation, most pedestrians are aware not to expect immediate clearing of snow during the time it is occurring, which is also part of the slip and fall rule in Pennsylvania. If an owner does not clear the snow and ice hazards within what is considered a reasonable time or allows a hazard to accumulate due to their own negligence, an injured person may have a claim in court.
Because these cases can be hard to assess without visually seeing the hazardous conditions, anyone injured in a fall should photograph and document the site as soon as possible after the incident. Obtaining the medical treatment needed and addressing any injuries is vital but writing down and documenting the location and conditions of the fall is an important part of proving liability. Photos can show that the owner did not adequately address a hazard or clear the property.
Keep in mind that the victim’s duty to exercise reasonable care is a factor in determining liability for the injury. A pedestrian who walks into what is clearly a hazard may be negligent in assuming the risk. Because these cases require assessing the law and having experience in how courts interpret evidence, having a slip and fall accident lawyer on your side can make the difference in proving your case.
Our Pittsburgh slip and fall accident lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. have experience representing those injured due to the negligence of others. We work to obtain the compensation and results you deserve in the stressful aftermath of a slip and fall injury and represent clients throughout Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and western Pennsylvania. Please complete our online form or call us for a free consultation at 412-765-1888.