The winter months bring not only lower temperatures but also high levels of precipitation. The White Plains area gets an average of 30 inches of snow every year, which is two inches more than the national average. All of that snow can make for picturesque winters and allow for many pleasant activities like skiing.
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to winter weather when it comes to personal safety. Slick roads increase people’s risks of getting into crashes during their daily commute. The accumulation of ice and snow in parking lots and on sidewalks also puts consumers at higher risk of a slip-and-fall incident when they go out to public spaces, like the grocery store.
Winter precipitation is a threat both inside and outside
Just trying to get from your vehicle to the front of the store can be a dangerous task if the business isn’t responsible about snow and ice removal. Businesses should clear snow as it accumulates in their parking lot and maintain clear walkways and sidewalks by melting ice as well.
When a company ignores outdoor maintenance in the winter season, visitors could easily wind up getting hurt before they even get inside the business. However, the threat certainly doesn’t end when someone crosses the threshold into the building.
Snowmelt dripping off of people’s coats and boots can make the floors inside a business, especially near the entranceway, particularly dangerous. Businesses should put down rugs to absorb snowmelt and proactively maintain dry floors.
Ignoring winter weather risks is a form of negligence
When you get hurt on someone else’s property, you usually need to show they have some responsibility for your injury. Both wrongful acts, like criminal behavior, and negligence can open the door to a liability claim.
Failing to clear ice and snow is a common form of negligence. Business owners and managers understand the risk involved but may not prioritize these forms of maintenance. The same is true for failing to keep floors dry and safe inside. A reasonable person would recognize that puddles of snowmelt or uncleared ice on a sidewalk could lead to someone getting hurt.
Provided that you can show that the business should have addressed the issue before you fell, you may be able to bring a financial claim if you get hurt because of unaddressed winter precipitation.