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Personal Injury Lawyer Slip and Fall Injury Series: Part 1- Icy Sidewalks

Slip and Fall Injury - Personal Injury LawyerAlfred Abel Law offices introduces a new series by our personal injury lawyer explaining the issues surrounding various slip and fall injuries. Part one of the series discusses slips and falls on icy sidewalks. A slip on an icy sidewalk can happen easily, leaving you in physical therapy for injuries to your back, hips, or knees.  If a fall on an icy sidewalk results in an injury, certain legalities must be followed. Tort theory acts as a guideline to help determine if anyone is liable and if so, the degree of their liability. Before recovering any compensation for an injury sustained from a fall on an icy sidewalk, the responsible party and the level of responsibility must be determined. Contacting a personal injury lawyer from Alfred Abel Law Offices after such a fall is always recommended.

Determining Liability: Icy Sidewalks

Under general premises liability law, owners are responsible for maintaining safe properties. This responsibility includes cleaning up spilled liquids or warning people of hidden dangers.  In cold weather, owners are also charged with keeping the outer environments of a property; such as driveways, walkways, and parking lots, clear of snow and ice.

The responsibility for clearing snow and ice from public sidewalks varies from city to city, but businesses may be held liable for injuries sustained from a fall on their sidewalks, parking lots or other walkways, unless they inspect and take care of hazards that could pose unreasonable harm.

In Philadelphia, residents are required to clear the snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property. Some specifications related to clearing these sidewalks are:

  • Clear the snow from any sidewalk that borders your property.
  • Clear at least a foot-wide path.
  • Clear the snow within six hours of snowfall ceasing (Police are sometimes lenient if the storm is particularly harsh. Avoid dumping shoveled snow into the street.)
  • Remove snow from fire hydrants and storm drains.

Pennsylvania has embraced the general rule that homeowners will avoid liability for snowfall unless they allow accumulations which make travel dangerous on their property or the sidewalks surrounding their property.  The rule to determine what is “dangerously accumulated” is colloquially known as the “Hills and Ridges Rule.” This rule assumes that with natural accumulation, hills and ridges of dangerous accumulation would only form if the homeowner had neglected to take care of existing snowfall: resulting in levels of snow that make walking difficult or dangerous.

In case of icy sidewalks due to owner negligence, such as when a broken pipe causes icy streams to form across sidewalks, homeowners have a higher chance of being held liable.  A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the legalities of such matters.

Amount You Can Recover

Most slip and fall injuries require no action to be taken, but some are quite serious. You are permitted to recover compensation for measurable injuries, including: medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, prescriptions, taxis to and from the hospital, and other expenses related to the injury. In many cases, a homeowner’s policy or commercial insurance policy will cover personal injury costs due to a slip and fall accident on the property. A personal injury lawyer can go over the details of your case.

Call Alfred Abel Law Offices for a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer

Anytime that you slip and fall, resulting in a serious injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to be sure that you know your rights and responsibilities. Alfred Abel Law Offices’ personal injury lawyers have been helping residents of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas like Fox Chase, Castor, and Chestnut Hills, with legal matters for over 25 years.  To schedule a consultation, contact Alfred Abel Law Offices today.