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Wintertime Slip & Fall Accidents: Who's Responsible?

Falls are one of the most common injuries that occurs in the United States, making up about 8.9 million emergency room visits every year, according to the National Safety Council. During wintertime, these accidents occur even more frequently due to ice and snow, which make parking lots, sidewalks, stairs, and floors unsafe and slippery. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, even in one's home, but during the winter, they are more likely to happen on ice-covered surfaces or in areas where snow has been tracked and accumulated on the floors. If your slip and fall injury was caused by unsafe conditions on someone else's property, you might have a viable premises liability claim.

Determining Liability

Property owners and renters who are responsible for maintaining property have a duty of care to ensure the premises are safe and free of hazards that might result in injuries. Many slip and fall accidents can be prevented if property owners and renters properly maintained the premises with reasonable care. Unfortunately, sometimes they fail to address dangerous conditions.

Under such circumstances, you might be able to hold the property owner liable for injuries sustained. That said, these incidents are not always straightforward. For example, if you slipped and fell on snow or ice in the parking lot of a grocery store, the property owner might not be held liable since they are generally not required to remove ice and snow that is naturally deposited outside their buildings by weather conditions.

However, if the slip and fall occurred inside the grocery store due to tracked-in ice and snow, the floor is part of the premises, which means the property owner could be held liable for failing to correct the problem or neglecting to post a sign to alert visitors.

Slip and fall accidents have a tendency to be quite complicated, especially when it comes to accidents on icy sidewalks. While many municipalities require owners and occupants of buildings to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks adjoining their property within a specified time, sidewalks that are not adjoining private or commercial property are considered the responsibility of the city, state, or federal government entity. To know for certain who you might be able to file a lawsuit against, it is crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney who is well versed in premises liability claims.

Premises Liability Attorney in Columbia

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else's property, you might be able to pursue compensation for your medical expenses and other losses associated with the accident. At Masella Law Firm, P.A., we will give you an unbiased evaluation of your case and advise you of your legal options and how much your claim might be worth in financial compensation.

Get started and contact our office today at (803) 938-4952 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable member of our Columbia legal team.