Many area residents don’t give a great deal of thought to how the weather might affect not only their safety, but also their liability. Even with mild weather, occasional snow flurries can lead to icy steps and sidewalks. Perhaps with warmer than usual temperatures, you’ve simply chosen to let the snow melt rather than go out and shovel your driveway and front entrance. Have you become complacent with the mild winter? St. Louis residents can still be injured on icy sidewalks and you need to take measures to ensure that your walkways are clear of potential hazards.
While the warmer temperatures are certainly welcome, it’s important to make sure that you also keep sidewalks clear. For example, don’t just clear a path down the middle of your driveway so that you can get your vehicle in and out. This type of snow removal typically means that you’ll leave behind a ridge of snow that crosses the sidewalk. Eventually, as the weather turns colder, this block of snow can turn to ice. Similarly, if you leave snow on your sidewalks, the mild temperatures might melt the snow cover, but when evening comes, and temperatures drop, that damp surface can turn to a slick, icy walkway that is fraught with potential danger.
It’s easy to not give a lot of thought to the condition of your sidewalks, especially if you don’t use them regularly. Maybe you drive to and from work, the grocery store, or to run the kids around to their various activities; however, there are plenty of people who do rely on sidewalks to get from one point to another. Whether it’s the postal carrier, delivery personnel, joggers, those people looking for a bit of fresh air and exercise, or school kids trying to get to their bus stop, if your sidewalk is a tripping hazard or it’s icy and creates a dangerous situation, it’s time to take action. Clear your sidewalks and remove ice and tripping hazards to help prevent accidents.
Injuries from falls can happen to anyone, but the elderly are especially vulnerable. If you’ve ever slipped on an icy driveway or parking lot, you may have been fortunate enough to get away with nothing more than a bruised ego; however, it’s fairly common for seniors to break a hip or injure themselves in a slipping accident. Regardless of your age, if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident as the result of icy sidewalks, a reputable St. Louis personal injury lawyer can often help.
A lawyer who understands the nuances of this type of case will be able to give you professional advice regarding your specific situation. Of course, if you are injured, seek medical attention first, then contact a personal injury lawyer to help you understand your rights. Don’t just assume that you were careless and that the accident was your fault. There are many times when a homeowner or business might be negligent because they hadn’t taken common steps in order to ensure the safety of those who need to use the sidewalks in front of their property.