Slip and fall claims are not as simplistic as many people think they are. In order for a plaintiff to win their claim, there has to be clear evidence that the defendant was either knowingly or unknowingly negligent. In the case of slip and fall accidents due to snow and ice, there are plenty of factors at play that can sometimes make it difficult to submit a successful claim.
Many government buildings that are open to the public are made of some sort of smooth stone or tile. These types of properties can be difficult to walk on even in the warmer weather, especially if it has just rained. When smooth stone or tile gets covered by snow and ice, it can create a treacherous walking situation.
Many slip and fall accidents due to snow and ice occur on government property, but they rarely result in personal injury claims. There is a very small window of time that people have to submit an intention to file a claim against a government agency in the event of a slip and fall accident. Even if you manage to get your intention filed on time, it can be denied for no reason. If you slip and fall on snow and ice on government property, then your chances of successfully filing a personal injury claim are small.
Reasonable Time to React
If you are walking on a sidewalk in the middle of a blizzard and you slip and fall, it is unlikely that you will be able to file a personal injury claim. In order for you to be able to file a claim, you must allow the property owner a reasonable time to react to the conditions that make walking on their property dangerous. Insisting that a property owner be out in a blizzard shoveling their walks and putting down salt is unreasonable and most civil courts will reject your claim.
The idea that a property owner should have a reasonable time to react to dangerous snow and ice conditions is what causes problems for most people trying to file personal injury claims. To be able to file a claim and win, you must be able to prove that the conditions were in place for a long time and that the property owner knew about the conditions. In something as dynamic as the weather, it can be difficult to prove that a property owner knew they had a snow and ice problem and simply ignored it.
Should You Try to File Your Claim?
If you slip and fall on a property due to snow and ice build up, then you should go ahead and file your personal injury claim no matter what the circumstances may be. The only time you are not allowed to file a claim is if you fell on government property and the government has denied your opportunity to file a claim. Otherwise, there are no laws in place that prevent someone who has been injured from filing a personal injury claim against a property owner.
You should never try to file your slip and fall claim on your own. To significantly improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve, you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim.