Suing Over Injuries from Slip and Falls on Ice and Snow

In Wisconsin, a state known for its harsh winters, ice and snow are the norm. This can lead to hazardous conditions on property where the owner, occupant or hired contractor did a poor job of snow removal. Slips and falls on ice and snow happen on sidewalks, streets and parking lots. If such an accident happens to you and you are hurt, who can you sue? The answer depends in large part on where and when the accident occurred.

Wisconsin courts distinguish between ice and snow hazards that arise naturally as opposed to artificially. Generally, courts will not hold a party liable for slip and fall injuries that occur because of a natural accumulation, such as a fresh fall of snow that is left undisturbed. Conversely, shoveling snow into a mound that obstructs a walkway may be considered an artificial accumulation.

The question of liability in each case may turn on what actions are taken by the person responsible for the property. If you slipped and fell on private property, whether commercial or residential, you most likely can sue the owner or occupant who created a hazard by failing to adequately remove snow or ice. This includes a fall on a walkway, driveway or parking area where visitors might be expected. However, the rule of comparative negligence applies, which means your damages will be reduced to the extent that you failed to exercise reasonable care when stepping upon visible ice or snow.

Frequently, residential and commercial property owners and occupants hire contractors to clear away snow and ice. In a lawsuit over a slip and fall accident, the owner or occupant — as well as the injured party — can bring a claim against the contractor, claiming it was at fault. The contractor may be found partially liable under the rule of comparative negligence.

Sperling Law Offices LLC in Milwaukee represents victims of slip and fall accidents throughout Wisconsin. For determined trial services from a personally engaged attorney, call 414-273-7777 | 414-273-7100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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