Hi, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer here with your quick shot legal wellness.
We are in winter’s grip and lots of people ask me if someone slips and falls on ice in their driveway, are they responsible? The answer depends on the law in the state where you live but most state’s laws, particularly those in the Northeast and Midwest, in most cases the answer is no so long as the snow and ice were natural accumulation.
For instance, the Ohio Supreme Court has said that property owners have no duty to eliminate natural accumulations of ice and snow from sidewalks or even to warn others. This is because living here in Ohio during the winter has inherent dangers. You see the court was concerned that any other rule could head us down a slippery slope toward an avalanche of lawsuits.
What if you decide to shovel? Does that change things when somebody slips and falls? Well, if you shovel snow or otherwise brush it away and ice forms, you could be liable for someone’s injury because protection from liability applies only to natural accumulations. For instance, where runoff from melting shoveled snow pools or forms ice, you may be liable if somebody slips and falls on it. So, if you decide to shovel, do a good job and either way, get a good homeowners insurance policy.
If you’d like to learn more about legal wellness, I invite you to join me at yourlovablelawyer.com. Until next time, I’m Danny Karon, your Lovable Lawyer.
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