Slip & Fall Accidents from Snow and Ice
January 16, 2020
Winter is here, causing snow and ice to cover walking surfaces. Walking carefully in winter weather is key to preventing a slip and fall accident. Slow and wobbly movements may seem to be ways to prevent a fall, but an accident can still occur that can result in injuries. Filing a personal injury claim is acceptable if you suffered injuries on a slippery surface while using reasonable care. A slip and fall claim can be pursued by any person against another property owner. All property owners are subjected to slip and fall claims, whether they are municipality owners, corporation owners, or owners of private properties.
Hills and Ridges Doctrine
In Pennsylvania, there is a legal doctrine to help determine whether property owners are liable for a slip and fall accident that resulted from an ice-covered surface. The hills and ridges doctrine became established after a Pennsylvania case in 1991. It determines that three conditions must be present in order to successfully recover compensation. The following are conditions that must be present in order to file a claim:
- If natural accumulation of snow and ice is not properly maintained, and it presents unreasonable dangers or risks for injuries.
- If property owner has previously received a notice for dangerous conditions on the premise or if the accumulation is excessive.
- If the premise’s condition was the direct cause of the fall or injury.
Hills and Ridges Doctrine and Negligence
The hills and ridges doctrine mainly protects property owners, but there are exceptions. These exceptions work in favor for the people who have been injured. If the property owner has been negligent regarding a specific condition that contributed to the formation of ice or if they have neglected walkways, then the doctrine may not protect the property owner from being liable.
Property owners have a duty to maintain common areas, especially public areas. Public walkways should be free from icy conditions and should be free from any hazards. Public areas include parking lots, and property owners should be diligent about clearing surrounding areas of a building. It is essential to immediately clear snow and ice from stairs to ensure there are no slippery conditions. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that their property is safe for walking.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Nerenberg & Gagliano, P.C. Help Those Injured from a Slip and Fall Accident
If you suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation. When winter weather conditions are present, accidents are bound to happen. It is always best to try to avoid a slip and fall accident by being extra careful while walking. Our Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Nerenberg & Gagliano, P.C. will help you determine whether a property owner is liable for your accident. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-9100 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Philadelphia, we also serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.