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Are property owners liable for ice on their property?

In the winter season, ice can become a primary cause of slip-and-fall accidents. In heavy weather conditions or low-light areas, ice can be hard to notice, especially when there seems to be no end to it.

Slip-and-fall accidents result in more than 31 billion dollars in damages every year. Considering how expensive a slip-and-fall can be, a victim of a fall should do their due diligence in holding the appropriate party liable for the damages. If someone slips on ice and sustains a major injury, are the property owners liable for the damages?

Ownership liability

The owner of a property should maintain the security of their assets. They are often liable if someone slips on the ice on their property. There is a certain level of expectation that a property owner needs to meet when maintaining their property, including:

  • Clearing the ice in a reasonable time – property owners generally have up to 48 hours after ice accumulation to remove it. After this time, the owner often retains all liability for any injuries from the ice.
  • Preventative measures – if the property owner knows about a coming storm, they may be able to prevent ice buildup by dispersing salt in common walkway areas.
  • Clear warning – in some cases, it may not be possible to remove all the ice in an area properly. A property owner should place hazard signs to alert guests of its presence.

When a property owner has the means and the opportunity to secure their property’s safety and fails to do so, any resulting injuries will likely be their responsibility.

Hold them accountable

If you were the victim of a fall or other injury on another person’s property, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss what you can do to recover compensation for your injuries.