A slip and fall on ice is just one of the many hazards of a Rhode Island winter, and many pedestrians may assume that these accidents are unavoidable. However, slip and fall accidents are a common cause of life-altering injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries such as sprains and torn ligaments. As a result, the state has created laws to protect residents from suffering serious injuries in a slip and fall accident during the winter months.
Lawsuit Requirements for Slip and Fall on Ice on Someone Else’s Property
Under Rhode Island law, every landlord or business owner has a duty to protect tenants and invited guests, including ensuring that common areas are kept clear of snow and ice created by natural causes. The only caveat is that landowners must be given a “reasonable amount of time” to respond to icy or snowy conditions on their properties. While there is no exact legal definition of a “reasonable” amount of time, the law generally protects landowners from being forced to remove a natural accumulation of ice or snow until after the snowstorm has ended.
A property owner or landlord may be found negligent if a slip and fall injury was caused by:
- Failure to perform proper snow removal. Improper snow removal may take many forms, such as failing to clear all common areas (such as by plowing a parking lot but neglecting walkways), failing to remove ice or snow from areas used by employees, or allowing accumulated snow to remain on the premises for an extended period of time.
- Failure to remove ice. Property owners may be liable for injuries on icy surfaces, but also for allowing ice to build up on handrails and neglecting to remove any hanging icicles that could cause injury.
- Failure to implement anti-slip measures. Owners have a duty to spread salt, gravel, or other materials over icy patches to prevent falls in parking lots, stairways, ramps, or sidewalks.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall on ice or snow, we can determine if a private property owner, a landlord, or a governmental agency is responsible for the costs of the accident. The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum offer free initial consultations for injury victims and do not charge for our services until your case is resolved. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.