Need Legal Help? Call 215.925.4451

Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Accident Law – Proving Hills and Ridges of Snow and Ice

Phil Blackman-Pennsylvania New Jersey Personal Injury LawyerPublished on behalf of Philip Blackman, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has devoted his entire career to helping individuals and families who have been injured due to medical malpractice, car accidents, fall accidents and more. FREE Consultations: 215.925.4451

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:

  1. the snow and ice accumulated in ridges or elevations that unreasonably obstructed travel,
  2. the property owner knew or should have known about the conditions, and
  3. 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:

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.

Fall Accident Law Library

Landlord Liability for Fall Accidents in Pennsylvania, Part Two

Landlords in Pennsylvania may be held liable for falls and other types of incidents which occur in and around the rented premises. Pennsylvania law certainly recognizes landlord liability; however liability varies, depending on the type of landlord. PA law recognizes...

Landlord Liability for Fall Accidents in Pennsylvania, Part One

Tenants and their guests who are injured in fall accidents often ask whether the landlord is liable for the accident. The answer depends on the circumstances of the case and more importantly, the type of landlord. In fall down accident cases, Pennsylvania courts...

Who can be held liable for a stairway fall accident in Pennsylvania?

There are many potential defendants in a stairway fall accident lawsuit in Pennsylvania. While the facts of each case vary, there are for the most part, two common defendants in a stairway fall accident case: 1. Building Owner Under Pennsylvania fall accident law, a...

Pennsylvania Fall Accident Law – Viability of a Stairway Fall Accident Case

Stairway fall accidents are particularly dangerous. Someone who falls down an entire flight of marble stairs may suffer catastrophic injury. Fractured bones, spinal injuries and head trauma are very common in stairway accidents. Those who are injured in stairway...

I was making a delivery and tripped on the property where I was making a delivery. Do I have a claim against the homeowner?

Homeowner liability cases involving a delivery person or utility worker are actually very common. Even though the individual was on the job at the time of the accident, they may be able to make a negligence claim against the homeowner. Such a claim would be...



    *No attorney-client relationship is created by use of this email form. Do not email confidential or time-sensitive information. Call the firm for immediate assistance.


    Pennsylvania Office
    The Pavilion
    261 Old York Rd., Suite 504
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    Tel: (215) 925-4451
    Fax: (215) 574-1200

    New Jersey Office
    1415 Route 70 East
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
    Tel: (856) 427-0614
    Fax: (856) 424-3690