As the winter season comes again, dozens if not hundreds of Reno residents will slip and fall on snow and ice outside a property. When that happens, it’s important to know when the property owner is responsible, when it is reasonable for them to take care of the snow and ice, and how you can pursue justice for your injuries.
What Is Reasonable?
To prevail on a negligence theory, a plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) the plainitff suffered damages. Many slip and fall cases turn on the first two issues; the defendant’s duty and whether the defendant breached that duty. For the duty element, it is generally accepted that property owners have a duty to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for its’ guests, customers, and employees. Therefore, when it snows, the property owner have a duty to take reasonable steps to remove snow and ice from their premises to keep their property reasonably safe.
If they don’t clear the snow and ice and someone were to slip and suffer an injury, the business owner could be found to have breached their duty, if the property had actual or constructive notice of the condition and failed to remedy it. Therefore, the property owner’s liability will depend on a number of factors.
For example, if you approached your apartment building in the middle of the night, just as the freezing temperatures and snow rolled in , you could have a difficult time demonstrating that the property owner was negligent and that they had sufficient time to remove the snow and ice.
Then again, if your attorney could demonstrate that they reasonably should have known there would be ice and they failed to salt or brine the pathways, they may still be found liable for your injuries.
Demonstrating the Elements
Remember, you need to prove three things in any slip and fall case.
- There was a hazard
- The property owner (or their employees on duty) caused the hazard, knew about the hazard, or reasonably should have known about the hazard, and they failed to timely remedy the hazard
- You suffered injuries or damages because of the hazard
Doing that on your own can be difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the legal process. When you hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling similar slip and fall cases, you have a better chance at accurately determining whether the property owner was liable and then holding them accountable for their negligence.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Help
If you have been injured on someone’s property, you need a personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. can help you understand your legal rights and the steps you may take to pursue maximum compensation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Talk to us, and we can help you explore your options. Call us today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.