Can I Sue If I Was Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident on Ice?
Whether we like it or not, winter has officially arrived in the Hartford area. As any Illinois resident can tell you, avoiding snow and ice-related falls is a major part of life during the winter months. Slip and fall accidents can lead to severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, and broken bones. If you or a loved one were injured after slipping on ice, you may be curious about your legal options. You may wonder if the property owner's failure to salt or clear ice from the area makes the owner liable for damages. Connecticut law regarding injuries caused by snow and ice is complicated and the answer to this important question depends on several factors.
Are Property Owners Required to Clear Snow and Ice?
Plowing snow, spreading salt, and clearing your property of ice are all ways to mitigate the risk of slipping and falling during the winter season. However, property owners are not legally required to do so. The Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act states that snow and ice removal is not mandatory and provides immunity to landowners who do remove snow and ice. In many cases, landowners are shielded from legal responsibility for ice-related slip and fall accidents. However, there are some situations in which property owners are liable for slip and fall accidents on ice or snow.
When is a Property Owner Liable for an Ice-Related Slip and Fall Accident?
The Snow and Ice Removal Act states that property owners cannot be held liable for ice-related injuries in a personal injury claim in most circumstances. However, the property may be liable if the owner's actions were “willful or wanton” or if the injury was caused by an unnatural accumulation of snow. For example, a property owner cannot intentionally create a slip and fall hazard to get back at a neighbor.
Property owners may also be liable if a slip and fall accident occurred due to “unnatural accumulations” of snow or ice. For example, if a property owner clears an area but creates an additional snow or ice hazard by doing so, the owner may be liable for injuries caused by the new hazard.
Commercial property owners may be liable for snow and ice injuries if the owner ignored building codes or defective conditions on the property that could lead to a preventable slip and fall injury. Commercial property owners or businesses may also be liable if they are contractually obligated to remove snow and ice and fail to do so.
Contact a Farmington Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Illinois law regarding liability for snow and ice-related falls is complicated. If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall accident this winter, contact James F. Aspell, P.C. for help. Our highly skilled Hartford can evaluate the circumstances of the injury and determine if you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call us at 860-523-87683 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.