Slip and fall accidents happen in a lot of different ways, such as when the tile floor in a department store is wet and a customer slips walking down an aisle. But one of the most common ways that these things happen is when the pavement on a sidewalk is snowy or icy and the person loses their grip. They may simply be walking to the car or walking the dog. But they’re on someone else’s property, and they slip and fall.
Injuries from this can be unexpected and severe. Someone can suffer a head injury that changes the entire course of their life. Don’t assume that simply falling is minor. Below are a few important questions to ask about these accidents.
How quickly do sidewalks need to be cleared?
It’s obvious that homeowners can’t be expected to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks instantly. It may be snowing while they’re at work and they don’t even know. It might have snowed overnight and they’re not awake yet. But they do have an obligation to make the property safe, so how fast do they have to do it?
The short answer is that property owners have 12 hours to remove the snow from the sidewalk. The only question is when they have to start counting off these hours. They either have 12 hours from sunrise or 12 hours after the storm ends. They can use whichever one gives them more time to clear the snow.
What if they fail to do so?
The first thing that Hartford does is to impose a $79 daily fine on those who don’t clear their sidewalks. If the city has to clear it, then they will also charge the person for the cost.
Naturally, this also opens that property owner up to the possibility of a lawsuit. If someone falls and suffers serious injuries on their property, and they have neglected to clear the snow for more than 12 hours, then they are liable for that injury – whether they had been fined or not. That’s why it’s so important for those who do get hurt to know exactly what legal steps they need to take to get proper compensation.
How long do you have if you are injured?
If you do suffer an injury, you do not necessarily have to seek compensation from that property owner right away. Under Connecticut law, you have two years in which to do this. This is known as the statute of limitations. It can be beneficial because, if you have delayed symptoms, they will have time to become apparent.