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Can I be Sued if Someone Slips and Falls on the Ice or Snow That I Shoveled?

Winter time has come around again and for states such as Ohio we are expected to experience heavy snow fall.

Winter time has come around again and for states such as Ohio we are expected to experience heavy snow fall. During this time, there is much uncertainty in regards to the liabilities and responsibilities associated with clearing snow from driveways and walk ways. Are you held accountable if you don't clear the snow from your walk way and someone falls? What happens if you make an attempt to shovel the snow but don't do a very good job? Or what happens if you shovel the snow and someone slips and falls on the snow that was shoveled? Tricky questions! If this is something that you have experienced, you will need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Cincinnati for advice.

What Does the Law Say?

According to Ohio law, homeowners are not legally obliged to clear their walkways of snow and ice. This law was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in December 1993, after a visitor made an attempt to sue a homeowner in Franklin County after they slipped and fell on the front porch of the homeowner's house.

The case was referred to as Brinkman v. Ross, during proceedings, the court passed the ruling that each individual is responsible for what happens to them if they decide to take a walk during bad weather. The case arose out of the Brinkman's visiting the Ross' home in February 1989. Ms. Brinkman suffered a broken ankle after slipping outside the Ross' house. She attempted to sue her host, but the case was dismissed claiming that it had already been established that homeowners were not responsible for clearing snow out of their walkways.

It is the responsibility of the guests and pedestrians to take extra precaution when walking knowing the nature of Ohio winters. However, in the event of an accident, contact a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer for advice.

Removal Ordinances

Local municipalities may enforce an ordinance for the removal of snow. If your township or city has an ordinance that calls for residents to clear snow and ice from walkways, then you are responsible for the maintenance of your sidewalk. Some cities may impose a fine if snow is not efficiently removed. If someone slips and falls on your property due to a walkway that has not been cleared of snow, a local ordinance does not automatically blame the homeowner. You should check with your local authority to ensure that you are adhering to whatever rules and regulations that they may have. None the less, if you were to slip under these circumstances, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Ohio for advice.

Final Thought

If you decide to take a walk in the snow, you should be extra cautious to ensure that you don't become a slip and fall victim. Unfortunately, accidents can and will happen, if you are injured in any way, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney for advice.


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