Common Sense in Winter Weather
As the weather gets colder and risk of snow and ice on paths and driveways becomes more likely, thought may turn to whether it is safe to attempt to clear away snow and ice or whether a landowner could then become liable - for personal injury sustained if someone falls. It is perhaps inevitable that these claims will continue to be made but whether they are successful depends on the individual circumstances.
John Spencer, President of APIL, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, attempted to clear up the issue earlier this year with their press release “excuse the pun, but let’s clear this up right now, the distinct difference between a simple accident and negligence which causes an injury when it comes to making a legal claim. Whoever clears the snow or ice would have to be negligent to be liable for someone else’s injury”. He went on “for example, using hot water to melt snow which is then going to re-freeze and create a dangerous sheet of ice would be negligent, as well as foolish. Some salt or sand and a shovel will do the job safely. Use your common sense and no-one will get hurt”.
Therefore use your common sense when clearing or attempting to clear snow and ice and don’t be afraid to clear paths if the predicted hard winter turns into a reality.