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Ice Patches Got You [Falling] Down?

By Alpert Schreyer on February 18, 2016

ice slip fall accidentsWatch out for ice patches…they’re still here

Winter can be hazardous, especially after it snows. Ice can accumulate, black ice can be lingering, and your boots may not have the traction you think they do. Even the people with the best of balance are prone to fall, and if you slip and fall on the ice, you may or may not be able to get compensation for your injury. The experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC handle slip and fall personal injury cases and are available to listen to your case and talk you through your next steps in the personal injury suit process.

Icy Patches

Recently, the DMV area got caught in what the country has deemed ‘snowzilla’ or ‘snowmageddon,’ and that means that pretty much everywhere you go, you can expect to come across patches of ice. This can include sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways. Even the greatest snow boots may not be able to protect you from a slip and fall, and if you have found yourself flat on your face or butt, you may be wondering if you can recover from any injuries you have sustained.

A slippery slope

After you’ve fallen you probably wonder what led to your accident. This is a good question and there may not be simple answers in terms of liability. Slip and fall, especially on ice, does not necessarily mean that you are completely at fault, nor does it mean that the person who owns the property is at fault.

The reason slip and fall cases are “slippery slopes” is because no case has the same details, and where one landlord may be found liable for an injury, another may not. According to Maryland law, the plaintiff must prove negligence, but on the other end of the spectrum, for the defense to prevail, they must assert defenses such as assumption of the risk or contributory negligence.

Assumption of the Risk

We all know that ice is slippery. But to what extent do we allow ourselves to assume the risk that if we walk on a slippery surface (maybe after it snows) we will fall? According to Thomas v. Panco Management and Poole v. Coakley Williams Construction, it is up to the jury to decide whether or not the plaintiff should have known about black ice. And in terms of landlord/tenant law, “[I]t is only when the tenant has a reasonably safe alternative path that there exists a ‘choice of risks’ sufficient to demonstrate a tenant’s consent to relieve the landlord of this duty when the tenant chooses to traverse the more dangerous route.”

Your next ‘steps’

If you have fallen and are injured, naturally you probably will want to get compensation if your injuries are serious enough. Assumption of the risk or negligence aside, it is important to get medical attention. Ultimately, you should document any and all injuries so that an attorney at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can work towards getting the compensation you deserve. Call (301) 932-9997 or toll free at 1 (844) 632-7274 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


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