With colder weather on the way, the days of shoveling sidewalks are fast approaching. It’s a nuisance that most people wish they could do without, but a necessity all the same. In most places, you must shovel your walkway within 24 hours after it snows. If you’ve ever wondered why this rule exists, then here’s what you need to know about personal lawsuits.
You’ll have a difficult time finding a township where you won’t be help liable if someone slips and injures themselves on your sidewalk or driveway. Denver personal injury attorneys warn that localities fall back on your responsibility to keep your property safe for other civilians when no rules or laws are in place.
While no one expects you to shovel in a blizzard, it is your job to shovel and salt as soon as possible. One grey area, however, is black ice. While you can defend yourself in court by saying you did not know any black ice was present, these cases often fall through and leave the property owner responsible. Play it safe and salt your walkways as well.
Slipping and Falling
The primary lawsuit resulting from snowy or icy walkways is knows as “slip and fall” in the legal community. The claim is one of negligence on the property owner’s part. It’s a difficult battle to fight to fight in court, but lawyers for personal injury cases have helped homeowners with their defense.
Lawyers for personal injury cases say the only way to prove a no-fault scenario is to show that an owner had no time to clear their walkway of snow or ice. Your attorney can also argue that the individual should have seen the danger or is responsible for their own clumsiness depending on the circumstances of the accident.
However, wining any of these defenses is challenging. More often than not, homeowners find themselves liable no matter the circumstances. If you have homeowner’s insurance, then the prosecution’s damages are covered. If not, you’re looking at a hefty out-of-pocket expense.
The best way to reduce your liability is to avoid the situation altogether. Keep your property clear of all hazards, especially ice and snow. Always put salt down after shoveling to make sure there is no black ice present. Don’t forget about stairs, too.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to tend to accumulating snow, then it’s worth it to find a neighbor or friend who can help you. Even if you are away on vacation, you can still be held liable for any accidents on your property.
Shoveling snow might be one of the most annoying chores in existence. However, it’s a lot easier than dealing with a personal injury lawsuit. If you do find yourself the defendant in a case, it’s vital that you hire a skilled attorney to help mitigate the amount of money you owe.