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Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Accidents: Beware Of Black Ice On The Sidewalks

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As my husband was leaving work from his office building one night last week, he slipped and fell on the sidewalk leading to the parking lot due to black ice.  Fortunately, he did not seriously hurt himself.

My husband described how the accident happened to him.  He was walking out the building, and the sidewalk looked like it was cleared of snow.  However, after he took one step, his foot slipped, and he fell hard on his back.  After he fell, he realized he was sitting on a sheet of ice.  The entire sidewalk had black ice on it.

As we were talking about his slip and fall accident, we both agreed that he was lucky that he didn’t break or fracture any bones.  We also both agreed that if it was an elderly person, he/she would probably have broken a hip or other bone due to how hard he fell.

I couldn’t help but think that if my husband did seriously hurt himself, i.e., fractured his hip, ankle or leg, who would be responsible for his injuries and damages?

In this situation, there may be a few liable parties:

  • the building owner,
  • the building management company, and/or
  • the contractor responsible for clearing snow and ice on the sidewalks abutting the office building.

Building Owner

If the building owner had its own employees clear the snow and ice on the sidewalks, then the building owner may be responsible for my husband’s injuries.  If a building employee just shoveled the snow but did not put down any salt to prevent ice from forming, then the building owner may be responsible because its employee negligently cleared the snow and ice.

Building Management Company

Sometimes, the building owner may hire an outside company to manage the building, which includes clearing the snow and ice on the abutting sidewalks.  Again, the building management company may be liable for my husband’s injuries if it negligently removed the snow and ice.

Contractor Responsible

Snow removal companies and contractors may also be responsible if they were hired by the building owner to maintain the abutting sidewalks.  If the company was supposed to clear the snow and ice on the day my husband fell, but did not do so, the company may be responsible for my husband’s damages.

Many times, there is more than one party responsible for injuries sustained by pedestrians as a result of unshoveled snow and ice on the sidewalks.  This depends on the contracts between the parties, and it requires a careful investigation by a PA slip and fall accident lawyer to identify liable parties.

Related PA Slip & Fall Accident Case Result: NJ Slip & Fall On Ice Case Settles For Client With Fractured Ankle

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Help After A Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Accident Due To Black Ice

If you would like to discuss your slip and fall accident, feel free to call Dan O’Brien to schedule a free initial consultation @ 877.944.8396.

Category: Premises Liability


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