Every winter, people slip, fall and hurt themselves. Luckily in many cases, the injury consists of just a bruise and medical help is not required. However, some people are not that lucky and find that they have a broken bone or head injury. These more severe injuries often require repeated doctor visits and possibly lost work time. As a homeowner, you need to be aware that you may be responsible to cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages if you are found negligent in a slip and fall situation.
What is a Slip and Fall Case?
If you are not familiar with the law or the insurance business, you may not be familiar with the definition of a slip and fall case. A slip and fall occurs when someone becomes injured because the surface they were walking on was dangerous. The danger could be due to water, ice, oil, soap or any other defect that causes someone to slip or trip and then fall down. Obviously snow and ice is the main concern in the winter.
How is a Homeowner Negligent?
Many homeowners wonder how it could be their fault if someone slips and falls. Negligence must be shown by demonstrating that the homeowner did one of the following:
- Knew about the condition and did not take care of it
- Should have known about the condition and did not take care of it
- Attempted to resolve the condition but didn't fix it
If the homeowner is not able to fix the condition, it is acceptable to rope it off or warn of it. If a warning is provided or the area is blocked off, the owner is not negligent when someone slips and falls.
What Can a Homeowner Do?
In the wintertime, people may slip on an icy or snow-covered sidewalk or driveway. This is a concern but there is no need for a homeowner to be outside shoveling the minute the snow starts to fall. Homeowners are allowed to clear their walkway in a reasonable amount of time. If a homeowner is struggling to keep up with the snow removal 24 hours after a storm, they should consider hiring help.
To avoid being liable for someone else's injuries and recovery, it is important to make sure your property is safe. Keeping the walkway clear of snow and ice is an integral part of this.
We’ve got you covered. Call McFarlin Insurance Agency at (410) 312-7800 for more information on Columbia home insurance.