Media Personal Injury Lawyer Explains What to do if you Slip and Fall from Snow or Ice
As a skilled Media Personal Injury Lawyer, I get questions all the time from clients about what to do if they slip and fall on snow or ice. Slip and fall cases that occur on snow or ice are like any premises liability case. You have to have actual or constructive notice that you can demonstrate on the part of the property owner or the property manager or you’re never going to be able to succeed in the litigation. What does that mean? Different jurisdictions apply different rules. Here in Pennsylvania they have a rule that I think is a pretty good illustration of the general principle. It’s actually called the Hills and Ridges Doctrine. What that means is the snow or ice needs to have been left there for such a long time that it develops what they call hills and ridges, crevices, cracks, and things of that nature. Something that illustrates that the ice and snow has been there so long that if the property owner doesn’t actually know that it’s there, they certainly should know that it’s there. That is what demonstrates that actual or constructive notice.
There is one aside to that. It is called the isolated ice patch theory. That is if you have a parking lot, driveway, street or anything that is completely devoid of any ice or snow but there is one isolated patch of usually what they call black ice. Black ice is the result of some man-made condition, then you still have a case. If the snow plow contractor plows the snow up into a giant embankment on the side of the driveway or the side of the parking lot in such a manner that it is going to melt during the day and refreeze at night. That’s going to create an isolated ice patch and you might be able to be successful in that instance. The final thing you want to consider is generally if there is a geographic weather phenomenon a property owner is not responsible for your slip and fall if it’s in the middle of a blizzard or the middle of an ice storm because obviously that would create way too much liability and put too much onus on the property owner.
If you have any questions regarding slip and fall injuries from ice and snow, please contact our Media Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation.
This educational blog was brought to you by experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Patrick K. Gibson. Our law firm proudly represents clients throughout Media, as well as Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.