Winter is just around the corner in Minneapolis, and while some may be looking forward to skiing, ice fishing, the winter holidays or simply a cozy sweater and a mug of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, it is important not to underestimate the dangers the season brings. Icy conditions are not just a danger to drivers during snowy weather. Outdoor slip-and-fall accidents can happen to just about anyone.
If you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk outside of another person's property, and are injured, you may wonder if you can seek compensation for the damages you suffered. It may be possible, but in general the law does not mandate that property owners shovel or otherwise remove snow and ice that piles up outside their buildings due to the weather, although there may be local ordinances requiring them to do so.
That being said, if property conditions create an unnatural accumulation of snow, slush or ice, then the property owner may be obligated to remedy the situation. For example, if the ground in a parking lot slopes, leading melting ice to create puddles that freeze over, this may be an example of unnatural accumulation.
However, should a property owner choose to shovel or otherwise remove ice and snow from his or her premises he or she cannot do so in a negligent manner. If he or she does, it could expose him or her to liability.
In the end, determining whether or not you can be compensated for a slip and fall accident on an icy sidewalk is not always easy. Therefore, those who have questions about whether they can pursue compensation after slipping on someone else's icy sidewalk may want to seek legal advice.