The weather is pretty predictable in the sense that there will be cold weather and snow in the winter. The variable is how cold and how much snow. This winter has brought lots of snow and cold weather stints along with pockets of sunshine. Our Pittsburgh premises liability attorneys at SMT Legal fear snowstorms for our clients. Not only do snowstorms cause work and school cancellations, but they can cause accidents that result in severe injury—particularly accidents that occur on public or private property.
Who is Liable for Cleaning Sidewalks, Walkways, or Driveways?
Owning property is work. A property owner is expected to upkeep and maintain the property and its surrounding land. One of Pittsburgh’s top ten code violations is a failure to repair and/or maintain sidewalks, walkways, stairs, parking spaces, and driveways free from hazardous conditions. A hazardous condition places a person using the property in danger—for example, ice or excessive snow, which can turn into ice.
After a big snowstorm, who is in charge of preventing these hazardous conditions? There are two answers: government and private property owners. The state government is in charge of public property like a public playground or a military base. Just because the government owns property does not mean that every citizen is entitled to use that property. Private property owners may use signs to show their restrictions to usage as well. If you are a person using property, you must adhere to these signs.
Hazardous conditions need to be handled within a reasonable time. For example, if there is a big snowstorm, the city may take a reasonable amount of time to clean the area—the same with private property owners. However, just like the temperature and amount of snowfall varies, knowing bad weather is coming is constant. The government and private property owners know when bad weather is on the way and should prepare accordingly.
What to do if You are Injured on Someone’s Property?
Private property owners are required to maintain their property as much as the government. Pittsburgh is aware of this and created a “Snow Angels” program that pairs young volunteers with elderly property owners. The volunteers help to maintain the property, like shoveling snow after snowstorms. Pairing people together to help each other protects the elderly from hurting themselves and protects the public from falling on hazardous property.
If you are injured while walking or running on someone’s property, depending on the extent of your injuries, it may benefit you to talk to our Pittsburgh premises liability attorneys at SMT Legal. From public to private property, falling on a sidewalk can cause serious injury to the head, back, legs, or hips, resulting in long-lasting damage. Do not minimize your pain or injury; we are here to get you the compensation you need to get back to healthy. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 1-888-976-2529.