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Property owners must at least try to shovel the sidewalks

Injury cases can get rather complicated when talking about a slip-and-fall accident in the snow. There are many questions that come up, such as:

-- How much snow was there? -- Was there any ice? -- Was it snowing at the time? -- Was the property owner home?

These are just a few examples. The key thing to remember when looking at these cases is that the property owner has to at least try to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk or the steps. If no effort has been made, that's when you may have a case saying that the owner is liable for your injuries.

The laws are written this way because it's often unrealistic for a property owner to get all snow and ice off of the sidewalk at all times, and people have a general responsibility to know that walking in the winter is dangerous.

For example, as we in Peoria know all too well, a person could shovel the walk in the morning, go to work, and come home to ten inches of snow on the ground. If you slipped and fell while the person was at work, you're not going to have much of a case since there was nothing more that could have been done.

However, if that person had ignored the snow for the last two weeks, letting it compact down into ice, and the walk was clearly more dangerous than the sidewalks around it, you may have a case. A situation like that shows that the person had a clear disregard for others and was negligent in trying to remove anything.

Be sure you know exactly what has to be shown to prove negligence in Illinois.A personal injury attorney can provide advice and guidance

Source: DuPage County Bar Association, "Walking (With All Due Care) In A Winter Wonderland," accessed Dec. 03, 2015

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