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The Law & You

Someone Fell on My Icy Sidewalk. Can She Sue?

The Law & You
February 23, 2018

The Law and You

Someone Fell on My Icy Sidewalk. Can She Sue?

Personal injury lawyers Greg Fellerman and Molly Clark answer a viewer’s question about premises liability. An elderly woman had slipped and fell outside the viewer’s home, fracturing her hip. Could the woman sue?

Dave Kuharchik: It is still that time of the year where we have to deal with snow and ice. Slip and fall, that is the topic tonight for “The Law & You,” attorney Greg Fellerman and attorney Molly Clark who’s here for Ed. Good to see you both.

Molly Clark: Good to see you.

Greg Fellerman: Nice to be here.

Dave: Here’s our question today. A little bit different than a typical slip and fall situation. Collen in Dallas says, “An elderly woman slipped and fell on my sidewalks outside my home last week during that terrible ice accumulation and fractured her hip. We did the best we could to remove the snow/ice but there was some we just could not get. Can this woman sue us?” Molly, the difference here is it sounds like Collen made an attempt to clear the snow and ice but just wasn’t able to physically get it all out of there. Does that make a difference in the scenario?

Molly: The short answer to your question, Collen, is that she probably can sue you and probably will try to. I’ve actually been really worried about this, the past couple of weeks as well, with all the snow and ice in my driveway and around my development. It’s very difficult to get rid of, so I can feel your pain. The short answer is yes, she can make a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy. What you want to do is document any snow and ice removal you tried to do. Let your insurance company know and put them on notice that there might be a claim being made against you. Start preparing a defense to the claim to show that you did your best to get it our of the way. These cases are really hard to prove especially if you did your homework.

Greg: And with the timing of the ice accumulation last week or two weeks ago, whenever the ice occurred, it came on very -and Dave could talk about that from the weather perspective- it was extremely treacherous out there. If it’s within a twenty-four hour period and this woman slips and falls and you were doing your best, you probably have a good defense, that was just the conditions you were dealing with. The conditions are your sidewalk, did it accumulate, how accumulated. There’s a whole bunch of issues, but if you have home owner’s insurance, the good news is they should put up a good defense for you.

Dave: Sounds like an attorney would come in handy in this scenario. If you need advice you can call the team or check them out online. Don’t forget results matter with attorneys Greg Fellerman and Molly Clark. Thank you both for being here.

Greg and Molly: Thank you.

Dave: and “The Law & You” hotline are there for you.

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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