During the winter months, slippery sidewalks from ice and snow increase the risk of seriously injuring yourself due to a slip or fall. Just imagine this: you're walking your dog through your neighborhood on a cold snowy night when, suddenly, your feet slip out from underneath you - causing you to land awkwardly on your arm and slam your back/head on the concrete sidewalk. A sharp pain immediately shoots through your arm, and your vision blurs amid a splitting headache.
After a trip to the hospital, you're diagnosed with a fractured arm and a concussion, and you're forced to pay your expensive medical bills out of your own pocket. However, did you know that, in a situation like this, you could be eligible for personal injury compensation?
Duty of Care in Ice-Related Slip and Fall Accidents
Accidents like these typically happen on city sidewalks or parking lots outside of grocery stores, businesses, schools and offices. Usually, the property owner has a responsibility to maintain these areas, which means immediately removing any snow and ice within a reasonable time frame that could potentially cause injuries to pedestrians. This is known as Duty of Care.
After a fall-induced injury from an icy sidewalk, there are two factors that will likely determine whether you are eligible for personal injury benefits.
- Did the property owner do enough to exercise Duty of Care?
- Did the civilian (you) exercise reasonable care when walking in an area they should reasonably expect will be snowy and/or icy (assumption of risk)?
In order to prove the property owner was negligent, you should try to document everything after your injury or - if you are physically unable to because of your injuries - send a friend or relative to the location where your fall happened. If the owner did not remove the snow and put salt down, take detailed pictures of the icy sidewalk, and file an injury report with your local authorities. Take down the contact information of any witnesses, as well.
After your trip to the hospital, be sure to take home a copy of any medical reports you can use as evidence of your injuries. Keep any receipts for over-the-counter medications you are prescribed.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
If the property owner did not do enough to exercise Duty of Care, you could potentially recover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering damages as the result of the injury. These are all things you should discuss with your lawyer during your consultation.
Let Dugan & Associates Help You!
If you or someone you love suffered an injury after falling on an icy sidewalk, the team at Dugan & Associates is ready to look at your case. Our team of experienced workplace injury lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum monetary compensation available to you. Give us a call at 412-353-3572 or contact us online today for your free consultation!