If I slip on my neighbor’s icy sidewalk, can I file an insurance claim against them? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

This is a tough question to answer definitively because, on the one hand, city ordinances and common courtesy require homeowners to clear and sand or salt their driveways, sidewalks and stoops. Not complying is negligent and puts other people at risk. At the same time, pedestrians have a duty to take care when they know or suspect that pavement may by icy. Neighborhood sidewalks often go uncleared, so walkers should exercise caution.

A much stronger case can typically be made against a business that fails to secure the approach and entrance to its front door. Customers have an expectation that they will not slip and fall while patronizing a business. Failing to fulfill that expectation can be cited as negligence in a personal injury insurance claim or civil lawsuit.

Another key issue in ice or snow slip or fall cases is whether a business owner had a reasonable opportunity to clear walkways after a complete or temporary cessation of stormy or snowy conditions. Did a day pass, or only 30 minutes? Consult with a skilled personal injury attorney with our firm if you have a question.