As winter approaches and the picturesque snowfall begins to blanket our cities, property owners take on an increased responsibility to ensure the safe passage of pedestrians. Snowy sidewalks, unfortunately, pose a significant risk for slip-and-fall accidents, leaving individuals with injuries that can range from minor to debilitating. Many who are injured will not get compensation for their injuries. Arm yourself with the knowledge to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Understanding the Duty of Care
Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes ensuring that sidewalks are clear of snow and ice, especially within a reasonable time after snowfall or freezing conditions.
Failure to fulfill this duty of care can result in liability for slip-and-fall accidents. However, determining liability can be nuanced, and several factors are considered in assessing the property owner’s negligence:
- The severity of the weather conditions: Heavier snowfall or icy conditions may increase the property owner’s responsibility to clear the sidewalks promptly. There are special rules that apply to snow and ice. Check with one of our personal injury attorneys to understand your rights.
- The property’s location and visibility: Sidewalks in high-traffic areas or near public transit may warrant more immediate attention compared to less frequented areas.
- The property owner’s knowledge of the hazard: If the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition, such as through complaints or observations, their failure to act could strengthen the case for liability.
Documenting Your Claim
Following a slip-and-fall accident on a snowy sidewalk, it’s crucial to gather evidence to support your claim. Here are some essential steps to take:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t feel severely injured, it’s important to seek medical evaluation to document the extent of your injuries.
- Take photographs: Capture pictures of the hazardous sidewalk condition, including the snow or ice accumulation, any warning signs, and surrounding landmarks.
- Gather witness statements: If anyone witnessed the accident, obtain their contact information and written statements detailing the incident.
- Report the incident: Notify the property owner or the responsible municipality of the fall, making a formal record of the accident.
Seeking Legal Guidance
Navigating the complexities of slip-and-fall claims can be challenging, especially in cases involving snowy sidewalks. Our Kansas City slip-and-fall attorneys can provide invaluable assistance:
- Evaluating your case: Our attorneys will thoroughly assess your case to determine the strength of your claim and identify the liable parties.
- Gathering evidence: We’ll work diligently to gather and preserve evidence, including medical records, photographs, witness statements, and weather reports.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: Our attorneys will represent your interests and negotiate with insurance companies to secure fair compensation for your injuries.
- Litigating your case: If negotiations fail, we’ll be prepared to take your case to court and fight for your rights in a trial setting.
Contact Our Kansas City Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys Today
Snowy sidewalks pose a significant risk for pedestrians, and property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain safe conditions. If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall accident on a snowy sidewalk, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel from our experienced Kansas City slip-and-fall attorneys at Morefield Speicher Bachman. We’ll be your advocate, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.