What’s your liability if someone slips and falls on your property this winter?
It’s a fact of life that it’s slippery and wet, and it freezes, and thaws and freezes again. Where we live it’s a constant condition. Whether it’s your home, your business, somewhere you work, it’s important to take proper care of walkways.
As a property owner, whether it’s your business or your own home,
you have to keep the property reasonably safe under the circumstances. And you have to cure a condition that you know or should know is dangerous. That’s your responsibility under the law.
When there’s a snowstorm there’s no legal liability until the storm is over. It’s called a storm in progress doctrine. So you have a reasonable time after the storm is over to get the snow cleaned up.
We all know what keeping your property as clean as possible looks like:
You shovel the snow, you throw salt down, you don’t allow stuff to drip so it becomes a sheet of ice. And you don’t allow people to walk over it so it becomes a sheet of ice and impossible to clean up. If anyone walks on it they’re going to fall. It’s only a matter of time.
It’s not the easiest thing to do. I live in the hills and we get a lot of snow, so I know how hard it can be to keep up with it! But you have to. Here’s the thing, you’re the most likely to fall! You, your customers, your employees. If it’s your home, then you, your family, your friends are the most likely to slip and fall and get hurt. And you can get really hurt from even a small fall, I’ve seen it. In fact, even a small fall can kill you if the circumstances are just right.
You don’t want someone to get hurt right?
It’s one of the hassles about living here in Upstate NY but if you don’t do it, you’re liable.
Joe Stanley is a personal injury attorney along with his Team at Stanley Law in Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown, Rochester, and Montrose, PA. You can reach Joe if you slip and fall and get seriously injured at 1-800-608-3333. He and the team will be there for you.