As winter settles in and snowfall picks up, it is only natural for accident rates to pick up. Roads and sidewalks are more dangerous, so it is important for business owners and citizens to understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping others safe. Many parts of Pennsylvania have seen below average snowfall accumulation, but any amount of snow and ice can be dangerous.
Pennsylvania premises liability lawyers want people to know that if they are injured in a slip and fall accident, there may be compensation available to them depending on when and where the accident happened.
Though a property owner is not usually legally responsible for clearing public sidewalks or walkways just because they are adjacent to their property, a landowner should be sure to keep in mind that there are exceptions to that rule. If there is a condition on a property that makes snow or ice even more dangerous, like a malfunctioning gutter causes runoff to freeze in dangerous puddles, then a property owner may be held responsible.
In a slightly different situation, if a property owner or a tenant decides to go ahead and remove snow, they must do it proficiently. Once someone elects to provide the service, they have to make sure that the work is not negligent, or that can open them up to liability as well.
Winter can be a dangerous season, so property owners need to take extra care to protect patrons from injury. In the event that someone is injured on another person's property, they should investigate the cause of the accident to determine if their injuries could have been caused by negligence. If so, there may be financial recovery available to help them get back on their feet.
Source: Goerie.com, "Winter storm plows through Erie region," Tim Hahn, Dec. 27, 2012