Seasonal freeze increases risk of injuries from ice

| Dec 8, 2020 | Premises Liability |

It may not always snow in Virginia, but when the temperature drops below 30 degrees, water may freeze and cause hazardous conditions. If an individual sustains an injury because of icy conditions, the owner of the premises owes a duty of care to take steps to prevent an accident.

In addition to hazardous slip-and-fall conditions, ice may form around doors, for example, and prevent them from opening. An employee stuck inside of a company truck or a customer left outside a store may attempt to force a frozen door open. As described by the Mayo Clinic, the muscular impact from pushing and pulling may result in a serious shoulder injury.

Keeping the premises free from a dangerous condition

It generally does not matter if an employee or a customer noticed an icy hazard and tried to avoid an injury. The owner of the premises owes a duty to keep the establishment free from dangerous conditions. If repairing a hazard may not occur immediately, a visible sign must warn others of the risk of injury.

As noted by ConsumerNotice.org, remedies to help prevent a slip or a fall may include salting the ground. When a manager or an employee sees a water buildup or ice forming, he or she owes a duty to fix it. If this is not an immediate possibility, there exists a duty to deter individuals from walking in that area.

Seeking compensation may require a legal action

An individual injured on the premises of an establishment with a dangerous condition has a right to seek damages through legal action. Severe injuries may require hospitalization or taking time off from work for treatment. An award of financial damages, such as for lost wages, may help in recovering from an injury caused by a preventable hazard.