Icy Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accident
Rhode Island winters bring snow and ice, which makes sidewalks, stairs, and other outdoor walkways slippery and especially dangerous. Property owners in Rhode Island have a duty to make their premises reasonably safe for tenants and visitors, which includes removing ice and snow within a reasonable time after it collects to reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident.
Premises Liability Law
Slip and fall accidents fall under premises liability law. In Rhode Island, a landowner has a general duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of his or her property. The duty of care for a particular person on his or her property may depend upon the relationship between the landowner and the visiting person.
Duty of Reasonable Care
A Rhode Island property owner is expected to clear ice and snow off sidewalks, stairs, and other outdoor areas within a “reasonable time” after the snow has stopped falling. This is an extension of the landowner’s responsibility to use “reasonable care” to protect visitors to the property, including protecting visitors from dangerous conditions the landowner knew about or should reasonably have discovered [Kurczy v. St. Joseph Veterans Association, Inc., 820 A.2d 929, 935 (R.I. 2003)]. This duty applies to those legally or reasonably expected to be upon the premise.
Rhode Island’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, Section 34-18-22, requires residential landlords to keep common areas, including sidewalks, steps, and parking lots, in a reasonably safe condition – which includes removing ice and snow. A landlord’s responsibility to clear ice and snow from a property to protect tenants may depend on the relationship between the landlord and tenant and the specific terms of the lease.
Icy Sidewalk Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall on an icy sidewalk can cause serious injuries. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, for instance, estimates that 28 percent of all spinal cord injuries are caused by slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can also cause traumatic brain injuries like concussion, leg, arm, and wrist fractures. These injuries, and many others, can be expensive to treat and may leave a person with life-long disabilities.
Dedicated to Justice
Failure to keep sidewalks clear of ice and snow puts pedestrians at risk of serious injury, and those who expose others to such risks must be held accountable. At Marasco & Nesselbush, Rhode Island’s trusted personal injury law firm, our attorneys are committed to personal, social, and economic justice. In our many years of experience, we have successfully resolved many slip and fall injury cases, and we remain dedicated to providing outstanding representation. To learn more about how we can achieve extraordinary legal results, please fill out the free case evaluation form on this page, or call us today at 855-213-0404 for a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Warwick, Wakefield, Woonsocket, and Providence and are here to help you.