Sidewalk Slip and Falls

By Sherri L. Warfel

With the cold and snowy weather just ahead of us the question always arises – what happens when you fall because of a property defect on property owned by someone else?

The general rule, when it comes to defects in a sidewalk, is that while residential homeowners are not responsible, commercial owners are responsible for those defects in sidewalks abutting their property.  The rationale for this is that commercial owners are aware and actually encourage people to use those sidewalks to enter their businesses and purchase consumer goods.  New cases have come down recently from the Supreme Court defining what is considered a commercial what is not a commercial entity; for instance, an apartment complex is but a condominium complex may not be.  A fall on a sidewalk owned by a housing authority may be considered commercial, but does that governmental entity have snow or weather immunity is a question to be considered in legal matters if you are injured from the fall.  Additionally, if you are a resident who undertakes to clear your snow and do snow negligently, that is a circumstance in which you might be liable to a person injured on your property. 

 So with this season coming, I have conveniently brushed up on my knowledge in handling cases in this area and I can help you with any questions you may have.  Contact me with any questions and have a happy and safe holiday season!

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