When weather conditions deteriorate and there is ice on the ground, slip and fall accidents can easily happen, and sidewalks can be treacherous. Even when people are careful, they can end up slipping on ice.
When weather forecasters predict winter storms, property owners should salt their sidewalks before the precipitation starts and redo it as needed. They should shovel the driveway and sidewalks as soon as possible. Many homeowners add liability coverage to their homeowners policies, which offer protection if anyone claims they were injured on their property.
Pennsylvania has laws pertaining to homeowner snow removal. Failing to remove ice and snow from a roadway or sidewalk on a property line could result in a potential lawsuit if a pedestrian slips, falls, and becomes injured. Philadelphia Code 10-72 stipulates that an owner, agent, or tenant is required to clear a path within six hours after the snow stops falling; it must be at least 36 inches wide. If the house is a rental, the landlord might be responsible for this.
Pennsylvania also has a hills and ridges doctrine. The following must be proven in order to be entitled to compensation under the hills and ridges doctrine:
- Ridges or elevations caused by ice or snow formed on the sidewalk.
- The homeowner was aware of the dangerous condition.
- The plaintiff was injured from dangerous ice and snow accumulations.
Pennsylvania courts base their decisions on several guidelines. The first is that pedestrians should be careful when walking on slippery paths after winter storms. The hills and ridges rule also recognizes that it is not always possible to clean up snow and ice accumulations right after storms. Property owners that fail to fulfill their responsibilities could still be liable for injuries if they did not remedy the hazard within a reasonable timeframe.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Advise You on an Ice- or Snow-Related Slip and Fall Claim
If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property due to negligence, speak with one of our experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. For a free consultation and to learn more, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-8488. We have offices located in Philadelphia and Abington, Pennsylvania, as well as Wilmington, Delaware, and we proudly assist clients throughout the surrounding areas.