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I slipped on snow and fell on a sidewalk in Philadelphia the day after a snow storm and hurt my shoulder and wrist. Can I sue?



It depends. Property owners are responsible for maintaining their sidewalks.  This includes removing snow and ice on the sidewalks to prevent pedestrians from slipping and falling on snow and ice and sustaining injuries.  Therefore, property owners have the duty to remove snow and ice on the sidewalks after a snow fall.

However, property owners do not have a duty to remove the snow immediately after a snow fall, as that may be unreasonable.  When home owners or property owners are at work when snow falls, the law does not expect the property owners to drop everything and come home to clear the snow. 

In Philadelphia, there is a city ordinance that requires home owners and property owners to remove snow and ice within six hours after the snow stops falling.  Therefore, since you fell on a Philadelphia sidewalk, we would need to know when the snow stopped falling and the time you fell. 

For example, if the snow stopped falling at 10pm the night before you fell, and you fell the next day at 10am, the home owner or property owner may be responsible for your injuries. Because the slip and fall accident happened at 10am, much more than 6 hours after the snow stopped falling, the owner may be responsible for your injuries and damages.

For more information about Philadelphia’s ordinance regarding snow removal, see Preventing Slip-Fall Accidents In Philadelphia: An Owner’s Duty To Remove Snow & Ice On Sidewalks

Even if the snow was removed within the time required by the city ordinance, the home owner or property owner may still be liable if the path cleared was less than 3 feet wide.  The Philadelphia city ordinance requires the path to be no less than 3 feet.  Therefore, if you were walking on a cleared path of only 1 foot in width and fell because of the snow, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries from the slip and fall accident.

There is also other information we need to properly evaluate your claim.  We need to determine who is responsible for clearing the snow from the sidewalk.  It may be a home owner, a snow removal company, or a landlord.  Therefore, it is important that you speak to an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer who will properly investigate and evaluate your case.

Feel free to call me to discuss your case further.  We always offer a free initial consultation. 877.944.8396

To learn more about PA slip & fall accident lawsuits, also see:

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