It's winter, it's cold, and snow and ice are accumulating across the valley.
We talked with Personal Injury Attorney Craig Swapp about slip-and-fall accidents and how to prevent them from happening at your home or business.
Swapp says slip-and-fall accidents always increase during the winter season, especially accidents that happen in parking lots and walkways. Every year emergency rooms report more than 1 million visits due to those kinds of accidents.
Ice can be difficult to see, and often times it's covered in snow. Swapp says the home or business owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by people slipping and falling on their property. But, he says it's not as simple to think they automatically have grounds to sue you.
It comes down to whether or not the property owner was being negligent. If the property owner hasn't taken reasonable steps to clear snow and ice from places people walk (driveways, parking lots, walkways, porches, etc.), then they could be held liable if someone is injured after slipping and falling.
But, Swapp says many times the injured party simply doesn't exercise reasonable caution. . For example, if the injured party decided to run on a snowy walkway, they were using the walkway recklessly, thus relieving the property owner of fault.
Swapp advises to always effectively remove snow and ice from your property. Shovel or snow-blow off snow while it's fresh and before it becomes packed down. Swapp also recommends using rock salt.
If you are injured, get medical and legal help! Give them a call at 1-800-404-9000 or visit craigswapp.com.