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What is a Property Owner’s Responsibility for Clearing Snow?

January 12, 2021

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Parts of Pennsylvania have seen significant snowfall lately. While the snow is good news for those who were hoping for a white Christmas, it brings more responsibility for property owners. All property owners in the state are required to keep their property clear and safe for people to enter. Snow and ice pose a hazard and are one of the main causes of slip and fall accidents this time of year. So, what is a property owner’s responsibility when it comes to clearing snow?

Premises Liability Laws in Pennsylvania

The law in Pennsylvania clearly states that property owners are responsible for ensuring their property is free of dangers so visitors are not injured when they are on the property. When they fail to do this and someone is hurt on the property, the property owner can be considered negligent and therefore, liable for paying any damages.

In order for a claim to be successful, the accident victim has the burden of proof to show that the property owner was negligent. They must also show that the property owner’s negligence caused their injuries. The biggest challenge with these claims is proving the property owner’s negligence. While this is true in any personal injury case, the mere presence of a dangerous condition on a property is not enough. Slip and fall victims must also show that the property owner knew, or should have known, about the hazard.

Premises liability claims are always complex, but they are even more so when the slip and fall was caused by snow or ice.

The Duty to Clear Snow and Ice

To ensure their property is free from danger, property owners must clear snow and ice from their premises. In most cases, an owner has 24 hours, or a reasonable amount of time, to clear the snow once it has stopped falling. The law deems that it is unreasonable to expect property owners to constantly keep their premises clear and so, they are given some time to clear the property.

Hurt in a Slip and Fall? Our Allentown Personal Injury Lawyers can Help

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident due to a property owner’s negligence, our Allentown personal injury lawyers can help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our skilled attorneys know how to prove negligence so you secure the maximum damages you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.



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