What role do property owners, either commercial, public, or private, play in preventing pedestrian accidents on sidewalks during winter months?
Although these types of pedestrian accidents can be difficult to prove, it is important to remember that those traveling on foot still have a right to travel on safe, well-maintained surfaces, without the risk of senseless harm or danger. In some cases, this responsibility is placed in the hands of property owners or managers, cities or municipalities, or commercial business owners. When they fail to do their part to protect pedestrians from harm, they could be held legally responsible for any injuries sustained as a result.What should a property owner do to protect pedestrians?
Property owners, like city governments, must take reasonable steps to prevent pedestrian accidents from occurring. This can include:
- Filling in dangerous cracks or holes
- Keeping sidewalks clear of dangerous debris
- Regularly shovel snow and salt pavement in winter months
- Provide adequate lighting to allow pedestrians to see potentially hazardous sidewalk conditions during nighttime/early morning hours
An experienced attorney will have to prove that the owner knew, or should have known, about the hazardous circumstances, yet failed to remedy the problem. Whether or not the pedestrian involved in the accident attempted to prevent the accident from happening also plays a key role in pursuing any legal action. Were reasonable steps taken to avoid the accident? Appropriate footwear, running on slippery pavement, and other factors can all play a factor in determining which parties are responsible.
Don’t assume that every pedestrian accident was simply that: an unpreventable accident that happened. In some cases, these types of accidents can be prevented when the responsible parties take reasonable steps to keep pedestrians safe. Check out more information on our site to learn about other types of pedestrian accidents, and how an experienced attorney may be able to help you if you become an unfortunate victim in a pedestrian accident.