Why You Should Always Clear Snow and Ice from Your Roof
Winters seem to be getting harsher with each passing year, and it’s tempting to just stay inside and hibernate until spring. Unfortunately, if you’re a homeowner or business owner responsible for a property, that means you’re also responsible for clearing snow and ice from your roof in order to prevent injuries to anybody who might pass by. Premises liability laws are clear that if snow, ice, or icicles fall from your building and strike somebody, cause property damage, or lead to a slip and fall accident, you can be held financially and legally responsible.
While there’s no expectation for you to go outside in the midst of a snow or sleet storm, once it has passed and the weather has cleared, all property owners have a duty to make sure that their property is safe. This means removing:
- Accumulated snow or ice, which can slide off of your building and hit a passerby below, or
create a slippery, treacherous sidewalk beneath.
- Icicles hanging from the side of a building, which can cause traumatic brain injuries or skull
fractures if they strike a person walking underneath, or freeze on the sidewalk below.
As beautiful as accumulated snow can be when viewed in a landscape when it is underfoot or overhead it represents a significant risk to passersby, as well as to vehicles or property that may be underneath. Premises liability is a specific area of law that addresses situations where property owners fail to exercise appropriate caution on behalf of people that may be on their property. This duty is particularly
emphasized where a property has experienced previous instances of accumulation. If you know that your roof gathers snow or your gutters collect precipitation that drips to the sidewalk below and creates an icy patch, there’s an expectation that you will anticipate the problem occurring again and take action to address it.
If you’ve been injured by a falling slab of ice or snow, or have slipped on a slippery patch while walking on a sidewalk, the property owner may be at fault for your injury. Call the premises liability attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to see whether you have the right to file a claim seeking compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.