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Legal Considerations for Injuries Caused by Falling Ice
Posted in Blog on January 12, 2024
It’s a crisp winter day in Washington and you’re walking by a building, enjoying the snow. Suddenly, an icicle or a sheet of falling ice detaches and strikes you, leading to a serious injury. These incidents can have significant physical and financial repercussions, impacting your overall health and well-being.
In such situations, it’s natural to wonder: Can you file a lawsuit? What are your legal rights and options?
Common Injuries Caused by Falling Ice or Icicles
Falling ice and icicles pose a real danger, especially in places that are known for snowy, icy weather. Injuries resulting from these incidents can range from minor to severe and may lead to costly medical bills, lost wages, and other financial burdens.
Injuries caused by falling ice may include:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries and blindness
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Nerve damages
- Sprains and strains
Are Property Owners Liable for a Falling Ice Injury?
In Washington, as in many states, property owners are legally required to maintain safe conditions on their premises. This responsibility includes proper winter upkeep, such as removing snow and ice that might pose a hazard. If a property owner neglects this responsibility and someone suffers an injury, such as being struck by falling ice, the victim may have grounds for legal action.
Premises liability lawsuits hold property owners, which include private homeowners and commercial businesses, liable if their negligence causes harm to another person. By filing a claim, victims of falling ice injuries can recover compensation to pay for their physical, financial, and emotional damages.
How to Prove Liability in a Falling Ice Injury Lawsuit
Negligence is central to a premises liability lawsuit. To recover compensation, you must prove that the property owner’s actions—or lack thereof—directly caused you to be struck by falling ice and suffer the subsequent damages. Several pieces of evidence can help substantiate your claim, such as maintenance records, witness statements, and expert testimony.
To establish negligence, you must gather enough evidence to prove the following elements:
- Duty of Care: The property owner had a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment.
- Breach of Duty: The property owner failed to fulfill their duty, either through action or inaction. In cases involving falling ice, this may look like neglecting to remove snow or ice regularly, not providing adequate warning signs, and improper building upkeep.
- Causation: This breach of duty directly caused the injury that you suffered.
- Damages: You suffered harm as a result of the falling ice in the form of damages. Common damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How a Seattle Premises Liability Lawyer Can Help
A falling ice injury can be painful, scary, and involve weeks or months of recovery time. In these situations, you deserve justice, and a Washington premises liability attorney can provide invaluable assistance. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, gather necessary evidence, and build a strong case to recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging time alone. Contact a Seattle premises liability attorney to gain clarity on your legal standing and the best course of action to pursue justice and compensation.