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Property owners and businesses may be liable for winter falls

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Premises Liability

The New Haven area sees its fair share of harsh winter weather. Especially after the beginning of the new year, icy conditions and large amounts of accumulated snow can make for difficult daily living. Most people in Connecticut already understand the demands of a New England winter. They have good snow gear and generally won’t let harsh weather conditions stop them from living their lives.

Going for a walk through a business district or stopping to run some errands during the winter should just be a boring occurrence, not a dramatic incident that leads to permanent injury. Unfortunately, if property owners or business managers don’t properly maintain their facilities, visitors and pedestrians can get seriously hurt.

Snow removal is the responsibility of individuals

Both residential property owners and businesses have maintenance responsibilities to the general public. The timely removal of snow and the application of salt or other chemical treatments to melt ice is necessary to preserve safe spaces.

Those who own properties with adjacent sidewalks have an obligation to clear those sidewalks when the snow stops falling. Businesses also have to maintain clear sidewalks and safe parking lots if they provide such facilities. When property owners or businesses fail to clear snow and ice, people can slip and get seriously hurt.

Broken bones, soft tissue injuries and even brain injuries are possible if someone slips on an icy section of sidewalk. People may have major medical bills and weeks of lost wages.

Insurance may protect those hurts due to winter weather

Slip-and-fall injuries caused by winter weather conditions may lead to significant insurance claims. Property owners can likely count on their homeowner’s insurance to cover the costs incurred by people on their property. Businesses may have general liability or premises liability policies that protect them from claims made by people who get hurt at their business.

If there isn’t an insurance policy that will cover someone after a slip and fall, that person may need to file a personal injury claim against the property owner or business. After all, the accumulation of ice and snow during the winter is a reasonably foreseeable hazard. Most people recognize that others could get hurt, so choosing to ignore that risk was likely a form of negligence.

Learning more about your rights after a slip-and-fall incident can help you cover the losses you suffered.