Residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey braced themselves for the bitter cold this past weekend. Temperatures dipped below freezing and were only in the teens. Most of the region also saw snow accumulation of 1-3 inches on Sunday morning.
This type of weather makes for horrendous walking conditions. After a snow fall, many homeowners and businesses clear snow/ice from their sidewalks and put down salt. However, with temperatures dipping below freezing, the snow/ice that melted earlier during the day would refreeze, causing the sidewalks to be very icy and slippery. Slippery sidewalks also mean an increase in the number of emergency room visits as a result of injuries related to falls on icy sidewalks.
Typical injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents due to icy conditions are:
Homeowners in Philadelphia, Norristown, Media and other cities in Pennsylvania have the duty to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. If they fail to do so and a pedestrian is injured, they may be responsible for the pedestrian's injuries.
Commercial businesses that have a store front, like the stores in Chestnut Hill or in Center City, Philadelphia, also have the duty to remove snow and ice in front of their sidewalks to prevent pedestrian slip and fall accidents. However, for many businesses, this responsibility may fall on a snow removal company or the landlord. Therefore, whoever is responsible for the snow removal may be responsible for a pedestrian's slip and fall accident due to the failure to remove snow or ice.
For instance, the owner of a clothing store rents store space on Main Street in Manayunk, PA from the property owner. Per the rental agreement, it is the clothing store's responsibility to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of the store. The store hires a snow removal company to remove snow/ice from the sidewalk.
A pedestrian walking by the store slips and falls on black ice that formed in front of the store. The pedestrian sues the store for its negligence in failing to remove the ice. In turn, the store points its finger at the snow removal company and alleges that the company did not come to remove the snow as it was supposed to pursuant to their contract.
In this case, the snow removal company may be liable for the pedestrian's injuries. Does that mean the store is off the hook? Not necessarily. The store may also be responsible for the pedestrian's injuries and assessed a portion of the responsibility.
Related PA Slip & Fall Accident Legal Article - Property Owners May Be Liable For PA Pedestrians' Trip & Fall Accidents & Injuries On Sidewalks
If you or a loved one slipped and fell on snow or ice on a sidewalk in Philadelphia or the suburbs of PA, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call our personal injury lawyers to schedule a FREE initial consultation @ 877.944.8396.