The holidays are here, and while we have yet to have a major winter storm, it is only a matter of time. With warmer than usual temperatures, snow can become especially dangerous. Snow and ice fall accidents are very dangerous and often result in very serious injuries, especially for children and the elderly. Bone fractures and head injuries are very common. In some situations, head injuries can lead to lasting or permanent cognitive problems like memory loss and personality changes.
Liability in a Snow/Ice Melt & Refreeze Case in Pennsylvania
The most dangerous type of snow/ice combination is when a layer of ice accumulates under snow. This is because the average person is accustomed to walking on a snow covered sidewalk. However, the average person does not generally expect a layer of ice underneath snow, especially thick sheets of ice.
Property owners usually bear liability in a melt and refreeze snow/ice case in the following situation:
After a snowstorm, a property owner might clear their sidewalk or walkway. However, higher temperatures in the days following the snowstorm allow the snow accumulations to melt and then refreeze at night, creating a sheet of ice across the walkway. Then after a subsequent snowstorm, the property owner forgets or delays clearing the walkway. Snow accumulates on top of the sheet of ice. Someone walking on the sidewalk encounters what looks like snow but is really a sheet of ice covered by snow and slips and falls.
Under Pennsylvania slip and fall law, the owner may be liable for failing to salt the icy sidewalk after the initial melt/refreeze and failing to properly shovel and salt the sidewalk after the second snowstorm. Proving liability in a melt and refreeze case usually requires reviewing the temperatures in the hours and days following the snowstorm. Other factors which are important include the type and location of the property.
Related Pennsylvania Snow & Ice Fall Accident Legal Article: Liability in a Snow & Ice Fall Accident
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
The law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent has helped many slip and fall and trip and fall accident victims. The firm offers a FREE, INITIAL consultation. Contact our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey slip and fall lawyers. Click To Call. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
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