I Slipped on Ice: Do I Have a Case?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on February 13, 2018

. Updated on March 23, 2022


woman slipping and fallingIndiana property owners have the legal duty to make sure their property is safe and to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries from occurring. Snow and ice increase the likelihood of a fall, and property owners may be responsible for removing ice and snow from walkways, parking lots and sidewalks.

If you were injured because of snow or ice on a sidewalk in front of a business, contact an experienced South Bend slip-and-fall attorney.

The at-fault party may be liable for your:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Our legal team at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can investigate your accident and determine if you have a viable claim.

Call us now at (574) 444-0741 to schedule a free case review with a skilled lawyer.

Requirements for Clearing Walkways

Per South Bend municipal law, property owners and occupants have a general duty to remove snow and ice that accumulates on public sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours after snow or ice has accumulated. However, whether property owners have breached this legal duty is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Some of the factors that juries consider when determining whether a property owner breached his or her legal duty are:

  • How much time had passed between the snowfall or ice accumulation and the accident
  • The timing of notice provided to the property owner regarding the weather condition
  • Whether the property owner could have reasonably known about the slippery conditions, especially in the case of black ice
  • Whether the property owner created an artificial condition on the property that increased risk

Holding a Property Owner Responsible

Many wintertime slip-and-fall accidents occur on icy parking lots or sidewalks outside a business. Establishing that a property owner is financially responsible for the accident requires showing that the property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care and that he or she failed to fulfill this duty. The primary issue is whether the property owner’s conduct was reasonable under the specific circumstances.

One way to establish the property owner’s negligence is to present evidence about the weather conditions and the property owner’s failure to maintain the property. Some ways to support this claim include:

  • Taking pictures of the accident scene – If possible, take photos of the location where you were injured before leaving the accident scene. Try to capture pictures that show how the accident scene looked at the time of the incident, including detailed photos of the snow or ice buildup.
  • Reporting the accident – Inform the property owner or manager of the accident. Get a copy of any accident report that is prepared.
  • Getting contact information – If other people saw the accident, write down their names and contact information before leaving the scene.

Get Legal Help for Your Slip-and-Fall Claim

If you slip and fall on the ice or snow, your first step is to seek medical attention even if you do not believe you were hurt. You may have sustained an internal injury of which you are not aware. Delaying your medical treatment can negatively affect your health and adversely affect your accident claim.

Your second step is to seek a South Bend personal injury lawyer at our trusted law firm. He or she will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all parties who may bear responsibility for the accident.

You may be able to recover compensation for the damages that you sustained, such as:

  • Past, present and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Mental anguish and emotional suffering
  • Permanent disability, scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering

We can discuss your legal options during a free and confidential consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid unless we help you recover compensation.

Call (574) 444-0741 today to get started on your claim.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases