Where There's Ice, There's Ouch: Slip And Fall Law

Law Blog

Slipping and falling on ice is not fun, not even when you are learning something fun like hockey or ice skating. When you are younger, you can shake it off. When you are older, it takes days for the pain to go away, and only if you did not break something in the fall. So, what happens when you slip and fall on a patch of ice that borders a city sidewalk? In this unique situation, do you sue the city, or sue the business that owns the parking lot on the edge of this sidewalk? Here is what "slip and fall law" has to say.

Sue Where Your Foot Slipped

If your foot slipped on the parking lot edge of the ice, you sue the business. This business owner knows that he/she has customers coming and going over the parking lot and should be out there de-icing it. It is the owner's responsibility and that is exactly what the city would argue even if half of your body lands on the sidewalk in the fall.

If your foot slipped just after you stepped off of the parking lot and onto the city sidewalk, you sue the city. The city owns the sidewalks and is responsible for their upkeep. If the city orders the nearest property owners to address ice, it is still the city's responsibility to make sure that the adjoining property owners are in compliance with the law. If the city fails to do so, and the adjoining property owner fails as well, you sue the city first and the property owner second.

If Someone Helps You up, He/She Is a Witness

The person or person that help you up after falling are witnesses. If you see these people every day about town, introduce yourself so that you know who to include as witnesses in your lawsuit. If others saw you fall, but did not step up to help, they too, are witnesses. 

The Unseen Witness

Police cameras posted at lighted intersections can catch your entire accident on record. If you are able, look around once you are standing again. If there are cameras on a nearby corner and they are pointed in your direction, be sure to mention this to your slip and fall attorney. He or she can subpoena the recordings for that time and date of your accident. Make sure you do this quickly as some city police departments erase these recordings after just a couple of days.

Contact an attorney, like Shaw Law Offices, for more help.


3 May 2017