Am I Responsible When a Guest Slips and Falls During Winter Weather?

Liability for injuries that occur when a guest slips and falls is fairly straightforward under Wisconsin law. If you own property, whether it be your home or a business, you are responsible for removing ice and snow, not only for your own safety, but for everyone’s safety.

If you fail to remove ice and snow from your sidewalks, and a neighbor falls, then you can be liable for the costs of any injuries that occur to your neighbor.

Homeowner’s insurance will cover these costs, but if you don’t have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place, or your policy is inadequate to cover the costs of your neighbor’s injuries, then you could be personally liable for the costs of those injuries.

If you rent a home or apartment, either you or the property manager may be responsible for snow removal. This is a duty that is typically defined by the terms of your lease. In some cases, you might be responsible for the area around your home or unit, whereas the landlord is responsible for snow removal in any common areas.

Likewise, if you rent or own a home in a retirement community, your property manager is typically responsible for snow removal.

If the concern involves icy and snow-covered sidewalks, then business or property owners often are responsible for cleaning the sidewalks. While some towns or cities will clear public sidewalks, that is not always the case. There also may be local ordinances in place about snow removal.

In any case, if your sidewalk or the floors inside your business are slick from snow and ice, you may be responsible for the costs of any injuries if a person who is visiting your business slips and falls.

Whether your accident occurs due to another driver who fails to heed winter weather or another type of negligent situation related to the weather, you may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law if you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result.

Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and set up your free consultation today.


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