Depending on the location of that patch of ice, the person that slipped, after stepping onto that icy path, must learn whether the same path was the property of a municipality or a private citizen. Then, it becomes necessary to discover the standard of care for the path’s owner.
The standard of care for a municipality
That governing body is expected to address any known danger on a piece of public property. If a municipality has known of a danger, and has failed to address it, then it can be charged with gross negligence.
Understand, though, that municipalities also have the right to set the rules, regarding the timeline for the filing of a personal injury claim. Most municipalities demand that a potential claimant notify the appropriate government body of his or her plans within 10 days of any accident-causing injury. Failure to submit such a note leads to an elimination of the right to file a personal injury claim. In addition, there is a deadline for the filing of such a claim. The potential claimant must file the required paperwork within 2 years of the reported accident.
The standard of care for the owner/occupier of a piece of private property
The occupier must arrange for the safety of all those that choose to enter that piece of private property. The occupied space should be kept free of snow and ice. Still, the occupier would not be held liable for injuries suffered during the time period that followed immediately upon the conclusion of a snowfall. An occupier/owner would be granted a reasonable amount of time, in which to arrange for the snow’s removal. The same rules would apply to the overnight appearance of ice.
Although a sidewalk is the property of the local government, the associated homeowner occupies that public path. For that reason, Injury Lawyer in Richmond Hill knows that a homeowner is expected to arrange for removal of ice or snow. Moreover, there are certain circumstances that increase the likelihood that a homeowner might be held liable, if someone were to slip and fall on an icy patch in front of that same homeowner’s residence.
For instance, it could be that the owner/occupier of that residence has hired some people to do repairs on an area that is adjacent to the sidewalk. That construction crew would be responsible for warning any walkers about the need to avoid the area under repair.
If that warning had not been posted, and someone slipped on an icy patch in the spot where the construction crew was working, then the injured victim could sue the construction crew. Alternately, that same victim might elect to sue the person that was paying the construction workers. If that were the case, the person sued would have the right to file a lawsuit against the construction company.
There is another series of events that might trigger the filing of a claim against the owner of a residence that is located next to a public sidewalk. It could be that the owner of that residence sought to control who was could make use of that sidewalk. Perhaps the owner had allowed formation of a puddle on the path that was supposed to be open to the public.
That puddle would freeze, when temperatures dropped. If someone got injured, it would be the homeowner’s fault.