Slipped and Fell on Snow or Ice? What You Need to Know
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Fri Jan 2017
- Premises Liability,
Winter scenes in the city or the suburbs can paint a beautiful picture. However, if you’ve slipped and fallen on snow or ice, you might not appreciate the view. This is especially true if you’ve been injured. Can you make a claim? Here’s what you need to know.
There are laws concerning the removal of snow and ice. Most property owners are aware of their responsibilities and attempt to make walking areas a safe passage. If that hasn’t been done in a reasonable manner, there’s a chance that you could pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the persons or entity that didn’t comply with the law.
Premises Liability for Snow and Ice Removal
In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if a shovel or plow would magically turn on when snow or ice first starts to accumulate. Obviously, that’s not possible. In fact, it’s not necessarily even expected under the law.
This is a good place for us to start our discussion. New Jersey law recognizes the “storm in progress” rule. This affords the property owner a reasonable amount of time to remove the hazardous condition until the snowfall ends. Of course, there is always the possibility that you slipped and fell on snow or ice that wasn’t removed from a previous storm. This would be a matter for consideration if the landowner asserted a storm in progress defense.
Obviously, the property owner has no control over rain or snow. Thus, they cannot be held liable from the perspective of creating a defective condition. There are exceptions. In removing snow or ice, they may inadvertently create a hazardous walkway.
Cases involving slip and fall accidents on snow or ice require review by an experienced premises liability attorney. If you are involved in an accident of this nature, you should record the following information:
- Date and time of the accident
- Weather conditions at the time of your fall
- Exact address where the incident occurred
- Names, addresses and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses
If you slip and fall on public or commercial property, do your best to make a report of the accident. You should also take photographs of the premises where you fell.