As we’re now in the midst of a cold winter, snow and ice become hazards with which we must contend. It is not uncommon for people to encounter snow or ice on sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, stairs, and other surfaces. It doesn’t take much to cause a slip that can result in a serious injury. That said, if you were hurt in such an accident, you may wonder who is responsible for snow and ice removal in Connecticut and whether you can file a personal injury claim to help compensate you for your damages. Please continue reading and reach out to a knowledgeable Stamford, Connecticut slip and fall lawyer from our firm to learn more about these accidents and how we can help if you’ve been hurt in one. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Who has to clear off snow and ice on sidewalks in Connecticut?
The first thing you should understand is that every municipality has its own set of rules when it comes to responsibility for snow or ice removal on sidewalks. However, if a municipality does not have a specific rule in place regarding snow or ice removal, the responsibility falls on the municipality or state (not a private property owner). That said, the transfer of responsibility for snow and ice removal on public sidewalks does not necessarily transfer liability. Connecticut’s rules regarding liability for winter storm-related accidents on public sidewalks are onerous – with a 90-day notice requirement and a “sole proximate cause” burden of proof to hold a municipality liable. The analysis of the source of the hazardous condition must also include consideration for the conduct of the abutting property owner and a third-party snow removal contractor. A hazard may be caused by the negligent placement of snow piles that may produce ice from a melt and refreeze cycle.
What should I do if I am injured?
If you are injured in a sidewalk slip and fall accident this winter, if you can, you should try and take several steps to maximize your chances of winning compensation in a future personal injury claim. These steps can include:
- Calling the police to the scene of the accident and ensuring they write up an accident report.
- Taking pictures of the unsafe sidewalk conditions that caused you to slip and fall.
- Asking witnesses for their contact information so they can corroborate your story.
- Seeking medical treatment and keeping all medical documentation pertaining to your injuries.
- Hiring a lawyer who can help obtain surveillance footage of your accident and gather all other evidence needed to satisfy the burden of proof in your personal injury claim.
How long do I have to file a claim?
This depends on where you were injured and who is responsible for snow and ice removal. In many cases, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Connecticut is two years. However, if you were hurt on property owned by a municipality or the state, you will likely only have ninety days to file notice of your claim. Waiting longer than this will likely result in you permanently losing your right to sue. For this reason, it is simply best to reach out to a seasoned attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
If you have any other questions or you’d like to file a personal injury claim, please don’t hesitate to contact Casper & de Toledo for help today.