MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, Minneapolis city rules require homeowners and business owners to shovel snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall. When homeowners and business owners fail to shovel snow, the ice that forms can pose a serious slip and fall risk. If a person is injured on icy sidewalks, the homeowner or business owner could be held liable for failing to take fall mitigation efforts—that is, for their failure to shovel snow or to put down salt.
The Star Tribune reports that the city plans to inspect sidewalks more frequently and to identify communities where assistance may be needed. Neighborhoods where there are disabled, elderly, or mentally ill residents may need additional assistance from the city, as may neighborhoods where residents live out of state in the winter. Property owners who do not remove snow themselves might find themselves facing an added tax bill for snow removal. However, the city is reluctant to become responsible for snow removal because this could shift the liability to the city rather than to individual homeowners should someone slip and fall.
Despite the risk of liability, many sidewalks remain covered with snow and ice long after the 24-hour window has passed. If you are walking or jogging, what are some steps you can take to avoid slipping and falling?
According to Consumer Reports, older Americans are more likely to suffer slips and falls on icy sidewalks. Older Americans can prevent their risk of falling by practicing strength training, stretching, and staying in shape. While older Americans are most at risk of suffering the most serious injuries due to a slip and fall, all Americans are at risk. Slip and fall injuries can sometimes be very serious and can result in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, broken hips, and pain and suffering.
One of the ways to prevent slip and falls on icy roads is to wear proper shoes. Older Americans can benefit from adding traction devices to their shoes to prevent slips. Those who may have difficulty maintaining balance may be wise to use a cane or walker. When it’s snowy outside, or when sidewalks aren’t clear, pedestrians should be careful to watch their step. Be particularly aware of the risk of black ice. Finally, being able to see black ice or icy patches is also important. Now might be the time to get your eyes checked and make sure your glasses are up to date.
The holiday season is also the season of drinking and parties. Avoid drinking to excess this holiday season to avoid the worst kinds of slip and falls.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino are personal injury lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota who work closely with victims who have been hurt due to the negligence of property owners. If your neighbors and business owners fail to clear their driveways and sidewalks of snow, they could be held liable for any accidents that take place on their property. Visit the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino today to learn more about your rights and options.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320