We are at that time of year when slippery surfaces become commonplace, so the chances that you’ll be injured in a slip and fall accident on ice are significantly increased.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one million Americans were hospitalized due to falls in 2015. As Kansas City’s leading personal injury attorneys, The Popham Law Firm is very familiar with the hazards associated with slick wintertime sidewalks, stairways, driveways, and walking paths. When to comes to injuries sustained during the winter months, one of the questions that we commonly get from our new clients is, “who is liable for a slip and fall accident on ice?”It is tempting to look at an injury that you receive as a result of an icy encounter as being “just one of those things.” Many people consider a fall on the ice, especially one that results in a severe injury, as a terrible misfortune—but not one that they can blame on any person or organization. That isn’t true: According to both Missouri and Kansas law, each property owner or manager is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to prevent injuries. That responsibility includes ensuring that walkways, staircases, parking lots, and driveways are free of snow and ice that could be expected to cause someone to slip and fall. The concept that the owner is responsible for the safety of those legally admitted to their property is known as premises liability.
Practical Examples of Premises Liability
It isn’t always easy to tell who the responsible party is when it comes to injuries sustained from slipping and falling on icy surfaces. Determining who owns or controls the space where the fall occurred can be more complicated than one might appreciate—that is why it is so important to get the advice of an experienced Kansas City slip and fall attorney like the ones you’ll find at The Popham Law Firm. Here are some examples of who would be at fault in some slip and fall scenarios.· Public and private sidewalks: Many Kansas City area residents don’t appreciate the fact that whoever owns or controls a sidewalk is responsible for taking reasonable actions to keep it clear of ice and snow. If the sidewalk is on public property, the local municipality holds the liability. Private businesses are responsible for the sidewalks that are on their property. Homeowners aren’t off the hook either; if you slip and fall at someone else’s house, their homeowner’s insurance will likely pick up the bill. If someone is renting a home, the renters are typically liable for any injuries that occur due to their failure to keep their walkways clear of hazards.· Stairways and entryways: Just as in the case of sidewalks, whoever owns or rents the property is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to prevent injuries to the people who are admitted to their building or facility. In the case of shops and businesses, that responsibility could fall to an individual business owner, facility manager, or both. Private homeowners maintain insurance, in part, to protect them against the liability costs of such injuries.· Parking lots and driveways: The liability for Kansas City slip and fall accidents on driveways is pretty cut and dry—typically, the property owner or renter is responsible for keeping these surfaces safe for people admitted to the premises. You will likely need a good Kansas City personal injury attorney to help you figure out who is liable for icy falls in parking lots; many lots are owned by shopping center facility owners or third parties. Nevertheless, they are responsible for taking reasonable measures to ensure that their lots are safe for their users.
Liability Limitations for an Accident on Ice
It is important to remember that there are limits to what a property owner is legally expected to do to ensure that the safety of their guests and patrons. You are supposed to notice where you are going and heed warning signs that are posted. Additionally, both Missouri and Kansas have strict statutes of limitations on personal injury claims. It is imperative that you speak with a Kansas City slip and fall attorney before you talk to an insurance company or property owner about your injury; that is the only way you can ensure that your rights are protected.
The Popham Law Firm
Representing Kansas City residents since 1918, The Popham Law Firm employs the area’s most respected and highly rated personal injury, workers’ compensation, and employee rights attorneys. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and ensuring that they get the just compensation that they deserve. For questions regarding your injury case and how The Popham Law Firm can help you, contact us via our website or call us at (844) 243-2288.