What You Need to Know About Slip and Fall Claims Due to Snow and Ice on Commercial Properties

Related Attorney: Timothy E. Dinan

May 29, 2024What You Need to Know About Slip and Fall Claims Due to Snow and Ice on Commercial Properties

Winter weather brings not only the beauty of snowfall but also the hazards of ice and snow accumulation, which can lead to slip and fall incidents. If you've ever slipped and fallen in a parking lot or on a sidewalk outside a commercial building, you know how painful and costly such an accident can be. Understanding the responsibilities of commercial property owners in maintaining their premises during winter can help you recognize when you might have a valid slip and fall claim.

Why Understanding Snow and Ice Removal is Crucial

The main reason it's essential to be aware of a property owner's duty regarding snow and ice removal is your safety. Commercial property owners must keep parking lots and sidewalks clear to prevent accidents. If they neglect this duty, unsafe conditions can lead to severe injuries for anyone visiting the property.

Moreover, if an accident occurs due to improper maintenance, the property owner might be legally liable for the injuries suffered. This means that if you’re injured, you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Knowing the specific obligations of property owners can strengthen your case should you decide to pursue a claim.

Legal Responsibilities of Commercial Property Owners

Municipal codes in most areas mandate that commercial property owners clear snow and ice from their sidewalks and parking lots within certain timeframes, such as a few hours after snowfall ends or by a specific time the following morning. Failure to adhere to these regulations can not only result in fines for the property owner but can also serve as evidence of negligence in a slip and fall claim.

What to Do If You Slip and Fall

If you experience a fall on a snowy or icy surface outside a commercial property, consider the following steps to protect yourself and your potential claim:

1. Document the Scene: Take photos or video of the area where you fell, noting the conditions that contributed to your fall, such as unshoveled snow or untreated ice patches.

2. Report the Incident: Inform the property manager or owner of the fall as soon as possible. This ensures that there is an official record of the incident.

3. Seek Medical Attention: If you're injured, get medical help immediately. Medical records will be crucial if you decide to seek compensation for your injuries.

4. Gather Evidence: Collect contact information from witnesses and keep a record of any expenses related to your injury.

5. Consult with an Attorney: A legal professional specializing in personal injury can help you understand your rights and the viability of your claim.


The responsibility of commercial property owners to clear snow and ice is more than just a maintenance task—it's a critical safety measure that protects visitors from harm. If you're injured due to a property owner's failure to maintain safe conditions, knowing their responsibilities and your rights can be instrumental in pursuing a slip and fall claim. Stay informed and cautious, and seek expert advice to navigate the complexities of such legal matters effectively.

Questions? Contact Tim Dinan at tdinan@lcrlaw.com, or (973) 729-1880.

See our previous blog post here.