The winter season is a bustling, hectic time for businesses and everyone else, working to check things off their to-do list. What may not be on your list is taking extra precautions walking on sidewalks slick with ice during the colder months. But it should be, as slips and falls are more likely to happen in the winter, with icy roads and pavements making you more susceptible to accidents. Even with the utmost care, you may find yourself needing a slip and fall accident lawyer in the event of an incident outside of a business or other property. Porter Law Firm, PLLC, is here to help you navigate the tricky world of liability in cases where you may be hurt and unsure of what to do.
Liability on Residential Properties
Maybe one day, you’re walking outside on the sidewalk in a residential area and you take a slip on a patch of ice. Because of the location, a residential property—meaning a home, condo, town home or other property not inviting the public—it can be difficult assigning liability. Owners of these premises have a legal duty of care, or obligation, to keep their area free of obstacles and hazards. But, in some states, a “natural accumulation” rule may take effect, meaning if the property owner did not go out of his or her way to cause harm or snow and ice naturally exists there (e.g. snowfall overnight), he or she may not be liable. However, there are no hard and fast rules for negligence in slips and falls, or how much ice is needed to assume responsibility, so a slip and fall accident lawyer like Porter Law Firm, PLLC, can clear up confusion and prosecute your case.
Liability on Commercial and Government Properties
In comparison to household properties, which do not openly invite visitors, commercial and government properties are areas pedestrians frequent for business or service. Retail stores, hotels, post offices and DMVs are examples of places that should demonstrate reasonable care in clearing the surrounding areas of its establishment from ice. For example, an outdoor mall with high foot traffic would be hard-pressed to not assume liability or assumption of responsibility for not clearing its sidewalk of ice or snow. For most slip and fall accidents, they are evaluated on a case-by-case basis that, as your Memphis injury lawyer, we can resolve.
What to Do in a Slip or Fall
Like most matters, there is no one size fits all approach for slip and fall accidents. In case of a slip or fall during icy conditions, you should first address any damage or pressing injuries. Afterwards, inspect the area and document it at the time of the accident. The more photos and videos you have, the better your case may be. If there were independent witnesses, ask them to describe the event and write their account down. Proper evidence is needed to support your claim, so collect what you can—you never know what you may need. Finally, you should file your claim soon after the accident, especially for those occurring on government properties, as those are affected by different laws. For guidance and prosecution for your claim, your slip and fall accident lawyer, Porter Law Firm, PLLC, is here to direct you through difficult legal matters.