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Tis the Season for Slippery Sidewalks

Posted on in Slip and Fall

Illinois slip and fall lawyerAs temperatures begin to dip and autumn turns (sometimes slowly and sometimes overnight) into winter, property owners prepare for the inevitable snowfall that arrives each year. Despite the knowledge that winter in Chicagoland and Illinois brings about snow-covered and slippery walkways, pedestrians often are forced to traverse treacherous routes that sometimes result in injuries caused by a slip and fall.

Mother Nature and the Law

The question of whether or not someone is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalk and steps in front of their home or other property is a common topic during the winter months. The related issue of whether or not an individual can file a personal injury claim against a property owner when they call on a snowy sidewalk is just as common. Last winter, the Illinois Supreme Court clarified an Illinois law passed in 1979 that was designed to protect property owners under certain circumstances.

  • The Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act protects property owners from liability if a person is injured because the owner did an inadequate job of snow removal.
  • This applies only when the accumulation of snow or ice is caused by natural conditions.
  • However, property owners are not permitted to ignore a hazard that is created by unnatural accumulation.
  • Hazardous conditions caused by an accumulation of snow and ice that are a result of or due to a failure to maintain other features of the property may open the owner to liability.

According to the court, the intent of the original law was to encourage property owners to clear sidewalks and other walkways of snow and ice voluntarily, while shielding them from liability claims of injuries caused by inadequate clearing. Prior to that time people often believed they would not be liable for slip and fall claims if they simply refrained from shoveling. This often resulted in pedestrians trudging through knee-high snow during the better part of the winter season.

Get the Advice of an Experienced Bloomingdale Personal Injury Attorney

If you are injured due to a fall caused by poorly maintained sidewalks, steps or other areas, it is important to understand Illinois liability law as it pertains to these occurrences. Your best course of action is to first retain a knowledgeable Bloomingdale personal injury lawyer who can review your case and provide clear direction. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. by calling 630-665-5678 and schedule an initial consultation meeting. Sit down to discuss the details of your injury and the circumstances that caused it with an experienced attorney.

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-snow-shoveling-law-20161225-story.html

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20151231/ravenswood/no-you-wont-actually-get-sued-if-someone-slips-on-your-shoveled-sidewalk

 

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