Winter is quickly approaching, and with it snow and ice. Every year, snow and ice contribute to multiple slip and fall accidents, some of which result in serious injuries. However, many of these injuries are preventable, as property owners have a legal duty to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe and hazard-free condition. The following considers property owners’ duties to remove snow and ice in Illinois, and what you should do if you have been injured in a snow or ice slip and fall accident.
Time Limits for Removing Snow and Ice
There is no overarching state law in Illinois that governs the amount of time that a person has to remove snow or ice from their property. However, there are a variety of municipal laws that do, in fact, set specific time frames. For example, in the city of Chicago, municipal code stipulates that property owners are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice, and that snow and ice must be removed within three hours of the snow falling, except for on Sundays. On Sunday, a property owner must clear the snow before 10:00 a.m. the following day.
In Rockford, Illinois, the law is slightly different, but still mandates that property owners remove snow. To be specific, the law reads that the owner or occupier of a property “shall remove all snow and ice” in front of his or her premises no later than “12:00 noon of the day” after the snowfall.
If a property owner does not make an effort to remove snow and ice from the property within the required time frame, then he or she may be held liable for subsequent injuries that result.
Property Owner Liability for Injuries Caused by Snow and Ice
It is important to note that a property owner may be held liable for a slip and fall accident caused by a complete failure and lack of effort to remove snow and ice from his or her property. However, in the event that an attempt to remove snow or ice has been made, Illinois Law 745 ILCS Snow and Ice Removal Act protects property owners (although not those of commercial properties) from liability unless clear wrongdoing occurred, or the harm caused to the victim was willful and wanton. Due to this, if you experience a slip and fall accident on a residential property where the property owner made an attempt to remove snow and ice within a reasonable amount of time, you may not be able to file a suit against said property owner. An attorney can guide you through this law in more detail, and help you to understand when the law does not apply.
Discuss Your Claim with a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have experienced a slip and fall accident in Illinois, you may be able to file a personal injury suit directly against the property owner in order to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even lost wages. To do so, though, you will have to prove that the property owner violated his or her duty of care to you by failing to maintain the property in a safe condition. A skilled Illinois personal injury attorney can assist you in doing so.
At Fisk & Monteleone LTD., our personal injury attorneys, located in Rockford, Illinois, have years worth of experiencing helping the victims of negligent acts. For a case consultation where we can discuss your injury and who may be at fault, call us today at 815-315-9198.