During the wintertime, all walking and driving surfaces become covered with ice and snow. In fact, even when the weather warms a bit and the sun comes out, areas in shade have the potential to be icy all winter long.
One of the most hazardous areas during the wintertime is that of an outdoor staircase. Outdoor sets of stairs, regardless of the material, can accumulate ice and snow. When ice is not removed, this can create a slip and fall hazard. The following provides some valuable information about how to avoid an icy staircase slip and fall in the wintertime, as well as who’s liable – and what to do – if you do slip and fall this winter.
Tips for Preventing a Slip and Fall Accident
Obviously, the best way to prevent a slip and fall accident on an icy staircase in the wintertime is to remove snow and ice as soon as it accumulates (assuming the stairs our on your property). Snow should be removed immediately and snow or ice melt should be applied. When you are removing snow and applying ice melt, make sure you are wearing shoes with proper tread, and move slowly to reduce your risk of fall!
If the outdoor staircase is not on your property, here are some tips to avoid a slip and fall if you encounter an outdoor staircase during the wintertime:
- Take caution – even ice is not visible, approach with caution;
- Make sure you are wearing winter-appropriate footwear with good tread;
- Use the handrail or railing; and
- Make sure your hands are free – if you are holding items, you will be off-balance and have difficulty catching yourself if you do fall.
Who’s Liable if I Slip and Fall Outside this Winter?
Property owners in Massachusetts have a legal duty to remove ice and snow from their properties. While each town can create its own laws, in Lynn, all property owners must remove snow and ice between sunrise and sunset within 10 hours after snow has stopped falling.
In fact, property owners have a duty to keep their properties free from hazards in general. If another person is harmed due to a hazard on a property – such as ice on a staircase – the injured party has the right to file a negligence-based suit against the property owner. If the victim can prove negligence, they may be able to recover compensation for their financial and non-financial damages.
Take Action After a Slip and Fall on an Icy Staircase in Lynn
At the office of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, we hope that you have a safe winter that is free from any accidents. If you do experience a slip and fall on an icy staircase this winter, please contact us for a free consultation. Deborah Gold-Alexander has over 30 years’ experience in slip and fall law, and can help you to prove the cause of your fall and the negligence of the liable party.
You can reach Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, at 781-289-4235 today. You can also contact our law firm online.