Now weeks into wintry weather, ice related injuries are beginning to crop up across Connecticut. From motor vehicle collisions to slip-and-fall accidents, winter in the Northeast presents challenges for everyone to stay safe and keep others safe. For instance, a new Supreme Court decision relating to a 2009 case has shed some light on the responsibility of homeowners to keep their walkways in front of their residences free from ice and snow.
The particular case involved a victim who slipped out front of a private residence in Enfield. The victim sued the homeowner, arguing he was negligent in failing to scoop the walk. The Supreme Court disagreed, determining that individuals and businesses cannot be sued for icy sidewalks unless their town has a specific ordinance on the subject. According to the Court, it is the municipality that has the ultimate duty to maintain public roads and sidewalks.
What that means for subsequent victims, though, is not entirely clear. In some instances, slip-and-fall victims may sue the landowner. In other instances, they may sue the municipality or the state. In still other cases, the victim may be entitled to compensation from more than one party.
If such a case is brought to court, however, every party will deny responsibility. No one wants to take responsibility for mother-nature. This is why victims of slip-and-fall accidents are encouraged to reach out to a local Hartford personal injury lawyer. They will apply the court cases like these which set forth precedent demanding justice for those injured through no fault of their own.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Enfield homeowner not liable in icy sidewalk 'slip and fall' case," Pat Eaton-Robb, Nov. 19, 2014