Scherline & Associates - Allentown personal injury attorneys

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PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday 6/29/20. Our office will be open. We are giving our clients a choice to come to our office by appointment only or the ability to meet with us via telephone or video conferencing. Please call our office at (610) 437-1100 to discuss your options or fill out our online case evaluation form. If you come to our office for a scheduled appointment, please wait in your vehicle and call us at (610) 437-1100 upon your arrival. You will be asked a series of questions recommended by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) before being permitted to come into the office. This is for the safety of you and our staff. We will make every effort to minimize the wait time in your vehicle and will be scheduling appointments so you are timely and promptly seen. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot guarantee that “walk-in“ clients without an appointment will be able to be seen by an attorney or staff member. For this reason, scheduled appointments are highly recommended and encouraged. Thank you for your understanding in these continued unprecedented times. The staff and attorneys at Scherline & Associates thank you for your understanding and look forward to helping you.

In the winter, one of the most dangerous things a commercial property owner can allow is snow and ice building up around his or her property. Snow and ice increase the risk of a person experiencing a slip and fall. Slips and falls can result in much more than just a bruise. Some common injuries include brain trauma, broken bones and abrasions. 

A person who sustains an injury from slipping and falling in front of a commercial property can file a lawsuit against the building owner. The owner is responsible for ensuring all of the walkways and driveways in front of the building are safe. While these owners cannot prevent snow entirely, there are still actions they can take to reduce their liability, and people in the community can inform the owners of such laws if a discrepancy is present. 

Time requirement

Commercial property owners only have a certain amount of time to remove the snow once it has stopped falling completely. This length of time will vary depending on the city in which you reside in. For example, some may require building owners to remove the snow within 24 hours while others may have an 18-hour limit. 

Manpower

Commercial owners need to have a plan in place before the first snow of the season falls. This means the owner either needs to acquire the equipment personally or have an agreement in place with a local contractor to come out within a set timeframe to remove the ice. In the event snow or ice is still present after the time limit, then the owner may face a fine. 

Other steps commercial property owners can take to reduce liability

One piece of advice for commercial investors is to take photographs of the sidewalk after removal. This shows the owner took action and may be less liable. For multifamily complexes, the residents are not responsible for snow and ice removal. That rests with the landlord or holding company, and tenants are within their rights to notify law enforcement if no removal occurs.