Falls Due to Ice and Snow
Winning Cases For Your Neighbors Since 1985
Have you or a loved one been injured as a result of a slip and fall on ice? If so, you need a law firm with the expertise and experience to handle the unique issues related to such cases. At Drake, Hileman & Davis, we have been pursuing slip-and-fall cases for our clients for more than 25 years.
Winters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are particularly hazardous for pedestrians who are forced to navigate ice-covered sidewalks and parking lots. Pennsylvania has some unique laws regarding the responsibilities of both the landowner and pedestrians.
Typically, the local municipality where the fall occurred has an ordinance which requires that all ice and snow be removed from the public sidewalk within a set period of time following a snowfall. A violation of a local municipal ordinance is to be considered “evidence” of negligence. These types of ordinances were developed to protect pedestrians and dictate the duty of care required of landowners.
Pennsylvania slip-and-fall cases are subject to the “hills and ridges doctrine” which hold that there is no liability for generally slippery conditions, unless ice or snow has accumulated in ridges or elevations of “such size and character as to unreasonably obstruct travel.” However, there are exceptions to this doctrine. In particular, our Superior Court has stated that this doctrine may be applied only in cases “where the snow and ice complained of are the result of an entirely natural accumulation, following a recent snowfall.” Proof of “hills and ridges” is not required when the hazard is a localized patch of ice. Additionally, proof of hills and ridges is not required when the icy condition is created by the defendant’s own negligence in failing to plow or remove snow or to properly drain water due to melting snow and ice.
Victims also need to be aware of the “assumption of the risk” defense. This defense asserts that a pedestrian assumed the risk of harm by voluntarily walking on a patch of ice- or snow-covered sidewalk. However, this defense is inapplicable where the fall was caused by “black,” hidden or not readily visible ice by snow that does not appear to be icy, or due to the lack of any other obvious, safe path.
If you have been injured due to a slip and fall on ice, we can evaluate your claim. If your claim has merit, we will represent you aggressively to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.