Winter is here and in Connecticut that means lots of snow and ice.

While a fresh snowfall can be pretty, what is not so pretty is having to clean up your driveway and sidewalks afterwards. It is important that sidewalks are kept clear of snow and ice, so that people do not slip and fall on them. If a person slips on a sidewalk that should have been cleared, that person may want to determine whether they can pursue a premises liability lawsuit.

In Connecticut, the rules regarding when a property owner must remove snow from the sidewalks adjacent to their premises are set by the municipal governments, not the state. Under Bridgeport ordinances, property owners must use reasonable care to see that their sidewalks are not slick with snow and ice.

If a person slips and falls on an icy or snow-covered sidewalk, to recover damages, they generally need to be able to show that the property owner knew or should have known that the sidewalk was icy or snow-covered.

However, the ordinance only states that the property owner must clear the sidewalk adjacent to their property. It doesn’t say how wide a path that must be. It also doesn’t state exactly how long a property owner has to remove snow or ice from their sidewalks before facing liability. A person who slips and falls on an icy or snow-covered sidewalk has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

So, it is important for property owners to make sure that when winter weather hits, they take reasonable measures to keep their sidewalks safe. If a property owner fails to do so, and a person is injured, the injured person may want to pursue a premises liability claim. Understanding what the property owner’s duty towards the injured victim is, is one of the first steps injured victims may take when determining what their options are.