As we enter the new year, we also enter the peak of the winter season. The winter snow can bring a beautiful scene, especially in New Jersey. Although it may be a pretty sight, the snow and ice may present a serious hazard. There are many situations where a property owner could be held responsible for injuries suffered from falls caused by snow or ice. It is important to know what to do if you suffer an on-premise slip and fall.
Bringing a Premises Liability Case Following a Snow or Ice Accident
Under the premises liability law, property owners that hold their property open to the public (such as shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and other businesses) have a duty to keep their property free from dangerous conditions that may create risk of a potential injury. This duty requires that a property owner not only to fix a known hazard, but also make reasonable inspections of the property. If any dangerous conditions are discovered, adequate warnings should be posted or the hazard should be eliminated. If a property owner fails to do this, they may be liable to the injured person for all related damages, including medical costs, loss of income as well as pain and suffering.
Rules for Snow and Ice
There are some specific rules when it comes to following snow and ice. As a general rule, homeowners have no duty to clear the sidewalks and pathways in front of their homes. However, homeowners who do take the responsibility to clear walkways must do so in a manner that does not make it more dangerous than the snow or ice presented in its natural state. For commercial property owners, there is a higher duty. When a commercial property holds their premises open to the public, it is important that they remove snow and ice in parking areas, sidewalks, and walkways. When necessary, they need to take other precautions such as warning signs, melting agents, sand, etc. However, their duty is subject to reasonableness. For example, a commercial property owner is not required to keep parking lots and walkways clear in the middle of a blizzard.
If you are a homeowner or property owner, make sure you are taking the right precautions when it comes to removing snow and ice from your property. If you are injured on someone’s property caused by a slip and fall from snow and ice that you think could have been prevented, contact us today at 732-888-8888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.