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Is a property owner liable for icy conditions on walking paths?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Personal Injury

In states like South Dakota, where winters are snowy and icy, people may slip, fall and hurt themselves. If the person who slipped and hurt themselves was on someone else’s property, that property owner may legally be held liable.

Generally, when snow or ice has accumulated to the point that it may not be safe for pedestrians to walk in that area, the owner of the property should remove the ice, ensuring the walkways are safe.

When accumulated ice and snow lead to a fall and injuries

A property owner may be held liable for damages and injuries if someone slips and falls on ice that has not been cleared away. The person who was hurt after slipping on ice or snow may be able to sue that property owner for their failure to maintain the property and keep it safe.

Whether the property is an apartment complex or a store where customers go to do their shopping, the owner should be responsible for ensuring the property is safe to enter.

Is a property owner responsible for clearing ice after it accumulates?

During winter months, snow and ice may accumulate on a business owner’s property. For instance, the property may be a two-story apartment complex. Stairs may become icy, making it dangerous for tenants or visitors to go upstairs or downstairs.

As they investigate the circumstances of a client’s slip-and-fall accident, the lawyer may be able to narrow the cause of the accident down to the owner, who may have failed to clear snow and ice from the stairways.

If ice was removed, but someone still fell, who is liable?

A property owner may not be required to take care of ice removal once it accumulates outside their property. If the owner of that apartment complex did remove ice, but the job was poorly done, they may be held legally liable.