Do Stores Have to Remove Snow From Their Property?
By: Jeffrey Shaw, Esq.
Published: August 30, 2019
Everyone knows that Indiana can have an extremely brutal winter but what most people don’t realize is that if they sustain injuries on another person’s property or a commercial location, they may be able to sue for recovery of medical bills and other damages. A common question that many people present to an experienced premises liability lawyer is whether or not stores have a legal obligation.
What You Must Know as a Slip Victim About Snow Removal Laws
There are laws based on the individual state that may or may not require store owners to remove snow. It is simply good planning and minimizing risks for owners of retail premises to have a snow removal and other inclement weather removal program. This is because people can easily slip and fall on ice or snow, sustaining injuries or even damaging the property of the business.
Property owners and residents in Indiana are not allowed to remove snow and put it into a public roadway. However, there are other laws that have to do with sidewalks when it comes to slip and falls. In general, it falls to the responsibility of the property owner to take snow off of walkways and other areas that visitors could hit and fall down. If a person removes snow from a public path or walkway, he or she could be held liable if a person experiences an injury as a result of the snow removal.
Any company that could have reasonably foreseen the risk associated with snow outside their premises, is responsible for removing the snow and minimizing the risk for people walking in or near the entrance to the facility. It is extremely important to gather evidence as soon as possible after an accident like this because the evidence may otherwise melt away and it can be very difficult to prove your case.
In a slip and fall case involving snow, you must be able to show that the property owner or manager knew about the condition or had reason to discover it and failed to take appropriate action to minimize the risks. If you slipped and fell or tripped and fell because a property owner did not to physical due diligence to remove dangerous conditions on the property, you can use this information to lodge a premises liability claim.
If you have already been hurt in a serious accident caused by snow on retail premises, you need to hire an experienced Indiana premises liability attorney like Jeff Shaw. At Shaw Law, it is our goal to help you get back on your feet again after you have suffered in an accident caused by another person’s negligence.
You deserve to have an attorney who will remain on your side for the duration of your case and who will keep you advised of developments in your legal claim. Snow removal is just one way that business owners must be mindful of the potential hazards in and around their facility. Torn carpet, cracked tiles, and other materials can also cause dangerous injuries if a customer’s slips and falls.