You've slipped or fallen in some ice or snow. This has led to medical bills and loss of wages, and now you want to know if you can claim compensation for this. The question is – how do you know if you have a case?
How Did the Accident Happen?
Slipping in icy conditions is normal. You need to think about where the incident happened and if anybody should have had a duty of care to pedestrians. If it was in your own garden, for example, there is no case. You have full duty of care for your own walkways.
If the slip occurred in a business's parking lot or on the sidewalk outside of the building, there are chances that there is a case. You will need to check if the business took all steps to protect pedestrians from slipping in such conditions. Was the snow cleared and was salt put down to offer some grip?
You also owe some duty of care to yourself. You would need to take reasonable steps to prevent yourself from falling in the ice or snow.
Did Snow Form Unnaturally?
If the snow or ice gathered in natural places, you may not have a case. Businesses and homeowners can't be held liable for instances where the snow or ice would be easy to see or expected to be there.
The problem occurs when the snow has formed unnaturally or the ice is in unexpected places. This would require some warning, such as a warning that the steps are slippery due to unexpected freezing or that ice is hanging from further up the building, causing a potential serious accident.
However, a landlord, business owner or homeowner does have a duty of care still. If the ice has formed where it would cause a hazard, a warning would at least need to be placed in clear view.
Has Removal Made It Worse?
There are times that landowners will attempt to remove the snow. This should be done in expected and safe ways. Where the removal has caused the hazard that led to the accident, you may have a personal injury case. This could include where the snow has been removed, causing the sidewalk to freeze and cause a more serious slip problem.
As you can see, whether or not you have a case really depends on where you were and how you fell. Fortunately, an attorney would be able to look at your situation during a consultation and help you decide if you have a case. For more information, contact local professionals like The Fitzpatrick Law Firm.