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If I fall as a Result of Snow and Ice Can I sue the Property Owner for Negligence?

A common inquiry from potential clients is whether they can sue a property owner for negligence for slipping and falling upon or as a result of shoveled snow or ice? The correct answer depends upon where you fall.

Illinois common law historically provides that a property owner is not liable for "natural accumulations" of ice and snow. In other words if snow falls from the sky and remains untouched there is no liability. On the other hand if the property owner engages in snow removal operations liability attaches for negligent activity. To a lay person this rule seems unfair as it appears to punish those that attempt to clear the snow and not persons too lazy or indifferent to pick up a shovel. To make matters worse most shoveling occurs on publically owned sidewalks.

To rectify the apparent common law injustice, the Illinois legislature passed a law which immunizes residential property owners for all negligent acts occurring during snow removal operations on private and public property. This immunity does not extend to commercial or public property.

Careful walking on snow and ice is essential for all of us but if someone falls and is injured as a result of negligent operations you will now know whether liability attaches to their conduct.


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http://www.rickgrossman.com 866-942-8024 The attorneys at Steinberg, Burtker & Grossman practice exclusively in the area of personal injury litigation. For representation, contact the firm today in Chicago, Illinois.

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