Shlesinger & deVilleneuve | Holding Property Owners Liable for Winter Slip and Falls

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Holding Property Owners Liable for Winter Slip and Falls


Winter weather is here, and with it comes plenty of hazardous conditions. Icy sidewalks and piles of snow can make walking more dangerous, and slip-and-fall injuries are common this time of year. Property and business owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe and hazard-free. Different city ordinances require different timelines for snow and ice removal from walkways.


Slip-and-fall victims have some responsibilities when injured on someone else’s premises, but they can often hold the owner accountable. If harm came to you from someone else’s failure to keep safe grounds, you might have a personal injury case.


Responsibilities of Business and Property Owners


Property owners are responsible for clearing their snow promptly and piling it safely out of the way. In Portland, for example, owners are specifically expected to clear snow down to the concrete and have a clear, three-foot-wide path. Different areas in Oregon vary on the specifics, but property owners are still responsible for the sidewalks around their property.


When Comparative Negligence Applies


Though a business or property owner may be found partially at fault, the victim of the fall may also be considered partially at fault, as long as the victim’s percentage of fault is not more than the defendant’s. In such a case, the compensation given to the victim is reduced by their percentage of fault. Victims can be considered partially at fault for reasons such as:


● The danger was visibly apparent.

● The victim was distracted, such as being on the phone while moving.

● Warning signs were posted and ignored by the victim.

● The victim fell in an area where business or property owners don’t reasonably expect people to walk.

● The victim was wearing inappropriate shoes or footwear for the weather conditions.


To determine if you have a case for personal injury and to assess the effect of comparative negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Shlesinger & deVilleneuve.

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