Slip-and-fall accidents are quite common during the winter—and they can often lead to serious injury. If you wipe out while ice skating and hurt your knee, you probably can’t hold anyone else liable for your injuries. But what if the mailman slips and falls on your front stoop?
If you haven’t taken the necessary precautions to limit slippery conditions, then they may be able to hold you accountable for their injuries—by filing a premises liability suit against you.
As a property owner, you’re responsible to taking steps to keep visitors to your home safe. During the winter, the City of Anchorage outlines your responsibilities to limit safety hazards due to snow and ice:
You are responsible for clearing snow and treating ice on any accessible parking spaces on your property—and on any sidewalks adjacent to your property—after any weather incident that produces at least:
- Two inches of snow,
- One inch of ice or
- Two inches of any combination of ice and snow
You must remove the snow and treat the ice between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. However, you may not move snow or ice into a street, sidewalk, alley or any other public place.
If you fail to meet the above requirements, you could face fines between $50 and $300 per offense—plus any additional civil penalties. Furthermore, if a visitor or passerby suffers injury on your property as a result of your negligence, you could have a lawsuit on your hands.
Therefore, promptly removing hazardous snow and ice from your property not only protects others’ safety—it can also protect you from liability.