Winter months produce wet conditions in Chicago and these results in ice which impacts our footing. We rely on sidewalks and walkways and stairs and entrances and often we are walking through these areas at night when lighting conditions are not perfect. Even in good lighting conditions, the presence of ice can be difficult to visualize especially if we are carrying things that shield our view.
In these situations where we slip and fall on ice we need to investigate what the source of the ice is. Did it simply rain or snow and the wet conditions turned to ice in the freezing conditions OR is there a condition on the property that caused the ice to be there. Many buildings have gutter and drainage systems on the roof or running along the side the buildings that are not equipped to handle large amounts of water. You can see these where large icicle formations exist on the sides of buildings or hanging from the gutters.
A property owner owes you a duty to prevent unnatural accumulation of ice on the property, whether the unnatural accumulation is from a negligent removal operation or from a design deficiency. A landowner is liable for injuries resulting from the unnatural accumulation when the landowner knew or should have known of the unnatural accumulation and did not take the proper steps to guard against it. Where there are large ice formations on the side of the building or hanging from the gutter, these are signs of a problem that the property owner should be on notice to correct. Also, if there are constantly increased ice formations in certain areas or walkways because the building has a faulty drainage or gutter system or because there is an ongoing leak somewhere, these too are signs that a problem exists that needs to be corrected.
When a landowner maintains a building or structure in a manner that causes water runoff in an area over which the landowner should know people will walk, and the water freezes for a period of time sufficient to give the landowner notice of the dangerous condition, it is not unreasonable to hold the landowner liable for injuries caused by such unnatural accumulations of ice. The construction and maintenance of a landowner’s property are within his control and therefore it is not an undue burden to require a landowner to maintain his property in a safe manner.
If you have been injured on someone’s property or in the common area of the apartment complex where you live than give our slip and fall attorneys a call right away. There is no charge for the call so call today. Let us help you make sure your medical bills are being paid and your lost wages are recovered. Most of all let us make sure you receive money for your pain and suffering. Again, the advice and consultation is at no charge so contact one of our injury attorneys now to discuss your case and how we can help you. Call us today at (312) 422-0500.