This winter has been relatively dry. However, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area has still seen some scattered snowstorms and enough accumulations to pose slip and fall hazards.
Snow and ice accumulations are especially dangerous on sidewalks, parking lots, and stairways. If not salted and shoveled properly and in a reasonably timely manner, what would ordinarily be a harmless fall accident can become a life-threatening situation. Serious injuries may result, such as:
- broken ankles and wrists,
- fractures in legs and arms,
- head injuries, and
- spinal injuries.
Pennsylvania Sidewalk Snow/Ice Accident Law – The Hills and Ridges Doctrine
Folks who are injured in snow and ice fall accidents often want to know if they have a case and whether the property owner can be held liable for the resulting injuries. Read more about liability for a snow/ice fall accident in Pennsylvania.
In slip and fall cases, owners can be held liable if the snow/ice accumulated to such a degree that hills and ridges of snow or ice formed. In order to be able to succeed under the hills and ridges doctrine in Pennsylvania, a snow and ice accident plaintiff has to prove that:
- the snow and ice accumulated in ridges or elevations that unreasonably obstructed travel,
- the property owner knew or should have known about the conditions, and
- the accumulation of snow and ice is what caused the plaintiff to slip and fall.
The most recent Pennsylvania court case to discuss the hills and ridges doctrine in a snow/ice fall accident case was decided late last year. The Pennsylvania Superior Court in Alexander v. City of Meadville (Dec. 2012) found in favor of a business/property owner, finding that because the business was closed on the weekend when the slip and fall accident occurred, plaintiff failed to show that the business had notice of the conditions.
The court found that the plaintiff was unable to provide any evidence that there were actual hills and ridges of snow/ice. Therefore the court found in favor of the property owner. This case underscores the importance of being able to prove hills and ridges with evidence such as pictures, video, eyewitness testimony, etc.
Related snow/ice slip accident content:
- Snow and Ice Accidents at Apartment Complexes – What You Should Know About Pennsylvania Law
- Head Injuries and Fall Down Accidents
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers. Call for your free consultation. 215.925.4451
The Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman accept cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.