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  • Ice and Snow Injuries: What to do?

    With winter weather upon us, your risk of injury from falling on ice-covered or snow-filled sidewalks, driveways and common areas increases. Often, the injuries — and devastating medical and financial hardships that follow — could have been avoided had homeowners, tenants or business owners removed the ice or snow. And, many times, the injuries result from poorly designed or maintained property that does not allow proper drainage of ice and snow melt-off.

    Property owners and tenants have an obligation to keep sidewalks, driveways, walkways and other common areas clear. In fact, many cities and municipalities require that homeowners, tenants and business owners clear these areas within hours of a snow or ice storm. The reasons are obvious: these areas need to be clear for the safety of pedestrians, postal carriers, emergency responders, school children and other people who might be expected to use the property.

    For example, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania The Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code requires that owners, agents, and tenants of any building or premise clear a path not less than 36″ wide within 6 hours of the end of a snow or ice-storm.

    If you are injured in a fall because a property owner has disregarded the law and pedestrian safety, you should take these steps:

    • Seek necessary medical attention and inform the doctor that you were involved in a fall down incident. Such information may lead the doctor to perform other testing that they might not otherwise consider;
    • Take pictures of the area where you fell;
    • Get names and addresses of witnesses; and
    • Contact an attorney to protect your rights, especially before speaking with a property’s owner, insurance agent or other representative.

    Galfand Berger’s team of injury lawyers helps our clients through the turmoil and confusion that follows fall down incidents. If you have fallen and have questions, do not hesitate to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 1-800-222-8792 or by email at [email protected].