Winter is a particularly hazardous time of year for many of us in the northern hemisphere. The presence of snow and ice turns the entire world into a slip and slide. While nobody can stop the freezing temperatures, it is true that in certain circumstances landlords have responsibilities to keep their properties safe for pedestrians.
If you suffer a nasty slip in front of a retail property during the winter months and sustain an injury as a result, you may be wondering about your legal recourse. According to FindLaw, there are certain instances where you may have a slip-and-fall case against a retail landlord who was negligent with ice and snow.
Are landlords liable for ice and snow?
Not in all situations. Generally speaking, if the ice and snow accumulation is due to current weather conditions, it is not reasonable to expect a landlord to remove ice and snow the moment it appears.
However, in situations where a landlord’s negligence has produced an unnatural accumulation of snow or ice, this is when the landlord may be liable for your slip and fall accident.
What is an example?
A landlord may be liable for your slip and fall accident due to negligence on other components of building repair. For example, if ice accumulates on the roof of a retail property over a period of time, melts, and then drips off the eaves because the gutters are in disrepair, this can cause the snowmelt to refreeze on the ground and become ice. If you then slip on this ice, the landlord may be liable.