While slip and fall incidents can occur during any time of the year, the majority of slip and fall accidents occur during the winter months, in the presence of ice and snow.
As anyone living in mountainous regions such as Provo, Utah knows quite well, clearing ice and snow from sidewalks and roadways can be a chore. Yet in the interest of prevention—and to avoid potential damages and lawyer expenses—keeping your walkways clear may be in your best interest.
Around the Home
If a slip and fall incident occurs within the premises of a home or apartment building, the property owner can be held liable. However, homeowner’s insurance can protect the homeowner from personal injury claims resulting from negligence on the part of the property owner, up to a certain amount.
If a slip and fall occurs on the premises of a rental property in Provo, the landlord may be responsible, as the landlord is responsible for maintenance.
Generally, property owners are not held responsible for public sidewalks located outside their property, as these are owned by the city. Government immunity can make lawsuits against the state especially tricky.
Business owners, unlike homeowners, have a duty to exercise reasonable care when maintaining surfaces that might be slippery due to snow or ice. In trying to invite people into a place of business—known as the ‘invitee law’ by those in the lawyer profession—business owners hold liability for any accident that occurs when trying to enter or exit a place of business.
Property owners in Provo and elsewhere will typically salt walkways or hire a plowing company to take care of snow and ice removal. Poor outdoor lighting can also contribute to falls at night.
Protecting Yourself Against Slip and Fall Lawsuits
In order to avoid a dispute between your lawyer and the injured party, property owners should take care to keep all surfaces reasonably clear and safe to walk on. If a property owner has taken reasonable measures to prevent slip and fall situations, a judge will typically rule in favor of the property owner.