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Falling on an icy sidewalk: What to do

In colder weather, it can be a hazard to walk about on the icy streets, but it's something that we have no choice but to do in order to get from a to b. Occasionally there will be patches of streets that have not been salted or cleared in any way. It is as though whoever is responsible for the driveway or sidewalk was just waiting for an accident to happen, and it will be seen by many as sheer negligence. So when a person does fall on an icy street, who is to blame for the injuries that they suffer?

Blaming the local government

Technically speaking, local governments are responsible for the maintenance and the safety of public spaces such as sidewalks. Therefore, if they are not kept safe, it is possible to sue the local government for damages. However, special rules apply for suing the government. You must file a notice of claim as a type of warning before taking action.

Blaming the owner of a private property

If you fall on private property that was unsafe and you were not trespassing, it is possible to sue the entity for negligence. This might be a commercial property such as a mall or a residential home. Every person or company has a responsibility to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors.

If you have been injured on an icy patch of land or sidewalk, it is likely that you will be able to make a damages claim to recoup the expenses for medical treatment. Do adequate research so that you know what you are entitled to.

Source: Findlaw, "Slip-and-Fall on an Icy Sidewalk: Can You Sue?," accessed Nov. 10, 2017

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