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I fell on an icy sidewalk in my neighborhood when I was walking my dog after the last winter storm and fractured my wrist. What can I do?

 

A:

If the sidewalk was in front of a home, then you may be able to bring a slip and fall lawsuit against the homeowner.  In order to prevail in a Pennsylvania slip and fall sidewalk accident lawsuit, the injured party or the plaintiff must prove the following:

  • a dangerous condition existed on the sidewalk,
  • the dangerous condition caused the plaintiff to fall and sustain injuries, and
  • the property owner had notice of the dangerous condition.

Related: Preventing Slip-Fall Accidents In Philadelphia: An Owner’s Duty To Remove Snow & Ice On Sidewalks

Applying the above elements to your slip and fall accident, the ice was the dangerous condition on the sidewalk, and the ice caused you to fall and injure yourself.  However, in order to prove the last prong, I would need more information from you. 

Though it can be argued that the property owner had actual notice of the ice because it was after a recent snow fall, you can only prevail if the homeowner had notice of it for a certain period of time and did not do anything to clear the ice. 

Homeowners in Pennsylvania have the duty to clear snow and ice on the sidewalks in front of their homes; however, it is unreasonable to require homeowners to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes immediately after snow storms.

After a snow storm, depending on where you live in Pennsylvania, homeowners have a certain amount of time to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks.  In Montgomery County, each township has a sidewalk snow removal ordinance.  For example, Plymouth Township homeowners have to remove snow 36 hours after the snow has stopped, and the shoveled path has to be at least 2 ½ ft. wide.  In Philadelphia County, homeowners need to remove snow from their sidewalks within 6 hours after the snow stopped falling, and the path also has to be 2 ½ ft. wide.

Therefore, if you live in Plymouth Township and fell on the sidewalk 2 days after the last snow fall, then you may be able to bring a slip and fall lawsuit against the homeowner because the homeowner did not remove the ice from the sidewalk 36 hours after the snow fall.

There are other facts I need in order to properly evaluate your claim, i.e., was the entire sidewalk covered in ice, what time your accident happened, etc.

Feel free to call my office to talk about your slip and fall accident.  We offer an initial FREE consultation. 877.944.8396


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