FAQ: I was walking to my car parked in the parking lot in front of my apartment building just outside of Philadelphia. There was snow on the ground in the parking lot. I slipped and fell on ice/snow in the parking lot and broke my wrist. Per my lease agreement, my landlord is supposed to clear the parking lot of snow and ice. This isn’t the first time that the parking lot wasn’t shoveled or salted after a snowfall. What can I do? Does the fact that this isn’t the first time my landlord didn’t clear the parking lot help my case?
Answer: You may be able to sue your landlord in a PA slip and fall accident lawsuit. Pursuant to your lease agreement with the landlord, it is his/her responsibility to clear the snow and ice in the parking lot after a snow fall. Because your landlord did not do so, he may be liable. However, there may also be another liable party. If your landlord hired a snow removal company to clear the snow and ice and it failed to do so, then the snow removal company may be liable for your injuries as a result of your slip and fall accident on the snow.
The fact that this isn’t the first time your landlord failed clear the snow and ice in the parking lot will not be the determining factor in the success of your case. Evidence that the landlord failed to clear the parking lot of snow and ice before may be admissible, but it won’t establish the necessary legal elements needed to prevail in a Philadelphia slip and fall lawsuit.
One of those legal elements is notice. You must prove that your landlord or other liable parties had notice of the dangerous condition, i.e., snow and ice, but failed to remove the dangerous condition. Even if the landlord had notice, did he have reasonable time to clear the snow?
Therefore, we need additional information to properly assess your case. For instance, when did it snow before your fall? Did the landlord come out to shovel the snow at all after it snowed? Did any of the tenants call the landlord to complain about the snow in the parking lot?
If it snowed 15 minutes before your fall, it may be hard to hold your landlord liable even though it is his responsibility to clear the snow. The landlord may have had notice that there was snow, but expecting him to clear the snow 15 minutes after the snow may be unreasonable. On the other hand, if the snow had fallen several days before your fall, and your landlord didn’t come by to clear the snow and treat the parking lot with salt, then your landlord would likely be held liable for your accident injuries. He had notice of the snow, had a reasonable time to clear it, but failed to do so.
It is best that you talk to slip and fall accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Call our office to schedule a FREE consultation. This way, we would have all the information to best assess whether you have a viable slip and fall accident lawsuit.
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