February 10, 2014

Liability in an Ice-Related Slip and Fall Accident

Due to the heavy amounts of snow and ice that accumulate throughout the Northeast in the winter months, there are a myriad of slip and fall accidents that happen. In New Jersey currently, we are dealing with a major winter storm, including heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain and consequently ice. This has been a cause for dangerous roadways, power outages and numerous accidents throughout the state.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a slip and fall accident due to ice or snow, you should know that compensation may be available to you. Depending on where the accident occurred and the circumstances, you may be able to obtain financial compensation to your injuries and medical expenses.

Who is at fault for snow and ice-related slip and fall accidents?

Generally, every property owner has a certain duty to keep their property clear of hazards and reasonably safe for visitors, employees and guests. Many slip and fall accidents occur on walkways, steps or parking lots where the ice or snow may have accumulated without being taken care of properly.

When pursuing a claim against the property owner or snow removal company in a slip and fall accident, the question has to be asked whether or not they took reasonable steps to maintain and inspect their property to make sure it was reasonable safe. In the winter months, a prudent property owner will make sure that ice and snow is properly removed from their property, including sidewalks, parking lots and entrances. It is also very common for property owners to hire outside contractors to clear the snow and ice from their property and also may have property managers present to make sure the work to clear the snow and ice was done properly and or to monitor the weather conditions. Also, individuals that are walking on snow and icy property should also take reasonable steps to avoid being injured.

What can you recover for your injuries?

After suffering a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to receive the following elements of your damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical bills
  • Lost wages (both for any missed work or the future inability to work)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any negative impact to your daily life caused by the injuries (ie: inability to exercise, enjoy leisure activities, etc.)

It is important to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in handling these types of claims to make sure your rights are properly protected and that a proper investigation is conducted to determine the responsible parties.

Document the Case: This Could Make or Break Your Claim

It is absolutely necessary that you document the conditions such as the snow and ice that caused your fall, soon as possible following the accident. This is especially true since weather conditions can change very quickly and the snow and/or ice may melt. Obviously if you are seriously hurt, you may not be able to go out and photograph the spot, but have a family member or friend take pictures of the area and how it looked at the time of your slip and fall. Due to the fact that the snow or ice could be cleared away soon after your accident, you want to make sure and document closely how it appeared at the time you fell. Also, in many circumstances, ice can be created by clogged gutters, and or faulty drainage systems and these dangerous conditions should also be photographed promptly.

Team of Experienced and Certified Civil Trial Lawyers

At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, Todd Leonard has dedicated his entire legal career to helping personal injury victims and their families on all types of serious personal injury accidents and wrongful death claims including slip and fall accidents. Todd Leonard has been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Lawyer.
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