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Fall Accident on Icy Parking Lot or Sidewalk

Fall Accident on Icy Parking Lot or SidewalkWhen Rhode Island business establishments invite the public to their store to generate sales through services, products, goods, food or alcohol, they have a duty to provide a safe environment. Whenever the establishment fails in their duty to protect patrons, they can be held legally liable in Providence Superior Court or Kent County Superior Court. This responsibility extends to ensuring that the sidewalk and parking lot is free of accumulated snow and ice that could easily cause a slip and fall accident.

Business owners, landlords & property owners are duty bound

Business owners, landlords, managers and property owners are duty bound to provide a reasonably safe environment. When inclement weather creates icy or snowy conditions, the commercial enterprise is required to clear the area in a timely manner. If someone is hurt as a result of their negligence, the establishment can be held legally liable for the victim’s pain, suffering, injuries and damages.

The responsibility of maintaining a safe environment in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations extends to short steps, hidden steps, uneven pavement, potholes and other areas that might be difficult to traverse when icy or wet. The managers and owners can mark dangerous areas with a warning sign, yellow tape, or other signage until the condition can be repaired or restored. This action MAY absolve the manager and owners from liability if the dangerous area is barricaded to avoid the occurrence of any accident.

A Level of Expectation

Every visitor, patron or consumer visiting a business establishment in Providence, East providence or across the State of Rhode Island has a level of expectation of remaining safe while on the premises. Any accumulated ice or snow at the entryway, pathway, inside the store or in the parking lot needs to be barricaded or removed by shoveling or mopping. Any foreseeable hazardous condition where an individual could slip or fall needs to be dealt with immediately. If no action is taken, any party derelict in their duty can be held financially liable for compensation should the victim be injured as a result of the responsible party’s negligence.

To minimize the potential of someone slipping and falling on the premises, the property owner management or third party with a contract agreement to remove snow and ice needs to take specific actions, which could include:

• Keep an ample amount of ice melting chemical supplies on hand in easily-accessible containers placed at every entryway
• Remove any accumulated standing water on walkways and parking lots, which could easily form black ice when the temperature drops below freezing
• Safely remove any accumulated icicles from arches and roof lines that pose a safety hazard to foot traffic or placed barricades to redirect pedestrian traffic away from the danger zone
• Contract snow removal companies to ensure that the sidewalks and parking lots are cleared of accumulated ice or snow in a timely manner

Legal Accountability for Rhode Island Slip and fall sidewalk accident

Any business, management company, individual, or other entity legally responsible to maintain a commercial establishment can be held accountable should you be injured in a slip and fall accident in Rhode island. Responsible parties can include:

• Property owner
• Tenant
• Any individual or company with control or custody of the property where the accident happened
• Management company
• Property manager
• Condominium association
• Contractors responsible for removing snow or ice
• Any other third party that created the accident-related problem or otherwise contributed to your injury

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of a business establishment it is essential to seek legal representation. A skilled Rhode Island personal Injury attorney can ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries, losses and damages. The RI premises liability lawyer can also seek compensation for any loss of past and future income and the cost of rehabilitative treatment and care. Reputable Providence slip and fall personal injury attorneys accept cases on contingency to avoid the need to pay any upfront fees.

Property owner’s responsibility for maintenance

If you slip on an icy parking lot, liability may depend on various factors, including the property owner’s responsibility for maintenance and your own actions.

  1. Property Owner’s Responsibility: Property owners or managers are generally responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. This includes promptly addressing icy conditions by salting, sanding, or taking other measures to prevent slips and falls.
  2. Notice of Hazard: If the property owner was aware of the icy conditions and did not take reasonable steps to address them, they may be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.
  3. Your Own Actions: Contributory negligence or assumption of risk could impact liability. If you were acting recklessly, not paying attention, or wearing inappropriate footwear, it might affect your ability to seek compensation.
  4. Governmental Immunity: In some cases, if the property is owned by a government entity, there may be limitations on liability, and specific procedures for filing a claim.
  5. Documentation: If you plan to pursue a claim, documenting the incident is crucial. Take photos of the icy conditions, gather witness statements, seek medical attention, and keep a record of any expenses related to your injury.

It’s important to consult with a legal professional to discuss the specifics of your situation. They can provide guidance based on the laws in your jurisdiction and the unique details of your case. If you believe you have a valid claim, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to explore your options.

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