Slip & Fall On Ice? How To File A Personal Injury Claim

Posted on: 23 February 2015

With snow piling up all around the United States, people need to be aware of the dangers, and how to handle specific situations. One issue that many people don't know how to handle is injuries that occur from slipping on ice. While out and about, you probably expect parking lots and sidewalks to be properly salted, but that's not always the case. If you have received an injury from slipping and falling on ice, you should know what your legal options are.

Natural accumulation law

Some states have a natural accumulation law. This means that business and property owners aren't liable for injuries due to the natural accumulation of ice and snow. Many states have talked about abolishing this law because it can get very tricky.

Once problem with this rule is the reasonableness of time. If the ice accumulates and a week later the parking lot is still frozen over, the amount of time that the property owners had to remove the ice and snow is reasonable. Therefore, they could be held accountable for injuries.

Another issue with this rule is if someone tries to salt the ice or shovel the snow. Some owners will attempt to remove the dangers because they want to keep the general public from harm. Unfortunately, that can potentially cause the owner harm. Once the amount of ice and snow has been altered by trying to remove it, the natural accumulation rule no longer applies. So if the ice was salted, didn't melt completely, and someone slipped and obtained and injury, the owner could be liable.

Making claims

If you slip on public property such as the road or sidewalk, you have to make a claim to the city. When you make claims against a city or town, the statute of limitations is generally much shorter than if you were making a claim against a person. You usually need to have your claim submitted within 30 days of your accident. Before submitting your claim, you need to find out exactly what your city requires you to submit, and which department to submit it to. If you submit it to the wrong location or leave something out of your claim, you won't be able to resubmit if it's passed the statute of limitations.

If you slip and fall on someone's driveway or in a store parking lot, you will need to file your claim against the home or business owner. Again, you will need to submit specific information about the injury. You will want to have a personal injury lawyer no matter who you are filing your claim against. Your lawyer will know exactly what to write and where to submit paperwork to ensure your best shot at winning your claim.

Proving negligence

Proving negligence is an important aspect of filing a personal injury claim. Without negligence, no one is liable to pay for your injuries. Negligence shows that the person responsible for maintaining the property knew that there was an issue and failed to maintain it to proper standards. Your lawyer should easily be able to prove negligence with information about the day it snowed and the day of your accident. Finding out about other roads and parking lots in the area that were properly maintained will help the case as well, since it shows that it was possible to have the ice or snow melted by the time the accident happened.

When going out in the ice and snow, make sure you are wearing snow boots with proper traction so you can stay safe on the ice. However, if you manage to fall and injure yourself, it's important to file a claim against the person liable so you can have your medical bills paid for, and any other bills if you are out of work due to your accident. Call a personal injury attorney so you have a professional on your side.