Why Ice and Snow Might Not Lead To A Slip And Fall Lawsuit

The first winter storm of the season has rolled through Michigan, bringing ice and snow along with it. While winter weather carries an increased risk of personal injury, it doesn’t always lead to a slip and fall lawsuit. Find out what you should know about premises liability, and its limits when it comes to winter weather.

Michigan Premises Liability Law Says Why You Are There Matters

Slip and fall lawsuits are controlled by Michigan’s premises liability statutes. These laws lay out the responsibilities of government agencies, businesses, landlords, and private homeowners to take care of their property and protect against injury that may happen there.

The standard a property owner will be held to depends on why you are on their property. If you are invited into a business for commercial reasons, such as buying groceries, you will be entitled to more protections than if you are a social guest at a person’s home. Even trespassers are entitled to certain limited protections against dangers on a person’s property.

Open And Obvious: Michigan Residents Know The Risks Of Ice And Snow

Not every patch of ice is an invitation to litigation. While property owners are required to take reasonable steps to keep their property safe, they are not required to warn guests and visitors about “open an obvious” dangers. When ice and snow are easily visible and obviously hazardous, guests are expected to take extra care or avoid the danger. Since Michigan residents know that snow and ice are slippery, most premises liability cases based on a fall on ice face the risk of being dismissed.

Premises Liability For Unavoidable Dangers

Michigan residents don’t have to stay locked indoors just because ice and snow can be hazardous. Businesses and homeowners can still be held responsible for injuries that occur if snow and ice is unavoidable. If, for example, poor insulation creates icicles and a slick of ice over the only entrance to a store, the customers aren’t forced to choose between coming again another day and paying for their own injuries. Store owners still have a responsibility to clear unavoidable dangers. They must take reasonable steps to keep the entrance shoveled and salted, so that customers can come and go safely.

Slip And Fall Cases Against Landlords And Governments Depend On Notice

Landlords and city governments have a duty to keep sidewalks and streets reasonably safe for their residents. This may include making reasonable repairs to gutters or steps, clearing snow, and plowing streets or parking lots. Before tenants or residents file slip and fall cases, though, they need to be prepared to show the responsible party had notice of the risk. Remote landlords may not know the moment-to-moment weather conditions in another state unless their tenants tell them there is a problem. Municipal governments may know it is snowing, but they must also be given a reasonable amount of time to mobilize the snow plows and clear the streets. If a person is injured before a landlord or government agency could have reasonably reacted to the ice and snow, their slip and fall case could lose traction.

Michigan premises liability lawsuits are not the easiest cases to win. Particularly when ice and snow cause the fall, you need to know ahead of time if there is a danger that a property owner’s defense is going to cause your case to be dismissed. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to find out if your case qualifies for recovery.

The Cronin Law Firm has experienced attorneys to aid with whatever legal issue you’re facing. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact The Cronin Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment