Winter time rings in the new year with celebration, fresh beginnings, and below freezing temperatures. Roadways and sidewalks get icy — making them very dangerous to walk and drive on. Unfortunately, icy accidents are quite common and can cause severe and lasting injuries. When and if you ever experience a slip and fall accident on ice, it is important to know what to do and who is liable for the accident.
What to Do After Falling on Ice
The most important thing to do after falling on an icy walkway is to seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 as soon as you can so that the paramedics can tend to your medical needs. If you are unable to reach for your phone due to your injuries, call out for help. Addressing any bodily injuries should be the top priority before moving forward with anything else.
Another important thing to do after falling on ice is to take to photos of the scene. Photos are vital evidence to prove that there was a dangerous area that should have been taken care of. Taking the photos at the time of the accident is the best option because if you wait until the next day, the ice might melt away. Having photographic proof of the dangerous condition of the walkway will especially be helpful to you if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the property owners of the walkway your injury took place on.
Who is Liable For a Slip and Fall Accident on Ice?
Figuring out who is liable for the icy walkway can become complicated. The two factors that are considered to determine liability are — ownership of the property on which the incident occurred and if there was negligence on the owner’s part. It is possible to find that no one is held liable for the icy walkway and for any injuries sustained. If the slip and fall happened on municipal property, the government will be held liable for the accident. If the slip and fall happened on someone’s personal or business property, the property owners will be held liable.
Once it is known on whose property the accident occurred, it must be proven that the property owners acted in a negligent way. If a snowstorm occurred overnight, it is reasonable to expect that home and business owners would not shovel and salt their property until the morning. Owners would not be held liable if a slip and fall occur overnight, during a snowstorm. However, if the property has not been attended to, cleared out, and salted by the next night, owners could be held liable for any injuries sustained. It is negligent for home or business owners to not shovel and ice their property after 24 hours of a snowfall.
Slip and fall accidents can cause a great deal of pain and injury. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings when walking, especially during icy weather. Stay safe this Winter!
Our team at Barillari law firm has over 25 years of litigation experience and we are ready to provide you with legal assistance. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious slip and fall accident on ice, please contact us today!