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Keeping your sidewalks clear to avoid premises liability

This winter, perhaps you have a neighborhood holiday party, and a family friend slips and falls on your driveway. Perhaps you order pizza for delivery, and your delivery man falls on your icy sidewalk. Due to their injuries, they now want to sue your insurance company to pay for their medical expenses.

As Illinois moves toward colder weather, citizens know that snow and ice will begin to wreak havoc on roadways. Yet many individuals forget that their personal property – their driveways, walkways leading to their front doors and even steps to entering their homes – will exhibit dangerous hazards for guests. Any invited guest has the authority to sue your insurance for damages, and though you may have an amicable relationship with the victim, he or she may still wish to sue to pay for their associated costs due to falling on your property. Keep yourself and your guests safe this winter by maintaining your walkways and avoid a premises liability lawsuit.

Premises liability cases during the winter months

When individuals slip on ice, they may face grave head injuries. Due to how fast some guests may fall, they may not have the opportunity to block their fall with their hands or wrists. Ice-covered walkways are especially threatening.

When your guest files a premises liability claim, he or she must provide evidence that your unkept driveway was the reason that he or she fell and suffered injuries. You had the duty to care for your guest, after you invited them onto your property, to ensure that their walkway proved safe from any hazards, including ice.

Winning a premises liability claim can offer your guest reimbursement. They can receive compensation for their:

  • Medical expenses
  • Hospital or rehabilitative care
  • Loss of work
  • Any other expenses related to the fall

During winter, you may wish to take extra precautionary measures to make sure that your driveway is free from ice and snow. You may want to avoid premises liability cases by:

  • Spreading salt on your driveway or walkway
  • Shoveling snow off walkways
  • Asking your guests to use an alternate route, such as entering through another door
  • Putting up signs to notify guests of slippery conditions
  • Notifying unfamiliar guests of your current driveway status

You want to avoid having to pay for premises liability cases. Though forgetting to shovel your driveway or failing to notify your guests of your slippery sidewalk conditions was an accident, your guests still have the ability to file a premises liability claim against you for reimbursement.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
311 S. County Farm Rd
Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-517-3279
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