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Winters in Taylorsville, Utah, are cold, with its residents seeing an average of 42 inches of snow every year. Snow, ice, and hail on streets and walkways, such as sidewalks, create slick and dangerous surfaces. Still, people need to go to work, stores, and other destinations, regardless of snowfall.
Are business owners responsible for clearing snow and other winter precipitation from their sidewalks? As always, Fielding Law cares about the safety of all Utah residents and visitors. We’ll explain the ins and outs of Taylorsville’s snow removal requirements.
No federal law mandates snow removal, but every state can have its own requirements. Different cities can also have ordinances or regulations. It’s essential to verify what requirements are in place in your location because they can vary.
In Taylorsville, UT, there are a few ordinances that govern snow removal, including this one:
14.32.100: SNOW REMOVAL; REQUIRED:
It is unlawful for the owner, occupant, lessor or agent of property abutting on a paved sidewalk to fail to remove or cause to be removed from such paved sidewalk and any existing curb ramp all hail, snow or sleet falling thereon, within twenty-four (24) hours after the hail, snow or sleet has ceased falling.
As you can see, the city government wants pedestrians to be safe, especially when there’s snow on the ground. Yes, business owners and others must clear sidewalks. This code also applies to apartment complex managers.
People who slip and fall on snowy or icy sidewalks can sustain various injuries. Some of the most common include:
While some of these injuries aren’t severe, others can be life-altering. Injured victims can face mounting medical expenses along with time missed from work, straining finances even further.
Clearing snow and ice away from sidewalks isn’t feasible during severe or ongoing storms. Those performing the labor are at an elevated risk of injury, and the chances are that fresh precipitation will negate their efforts. That’s why Taylorsville gives business owners and others 24 hours to clear sidewalks.
If sidewalks are left uncleared, they present a clear danger to those walking on them, violate city codes, and expose property owners, business managers, and other responsible parties to premises liability claims.
People can fall and sustain injuries for multiple reasons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit. To qualify, the accident and resulting injuries must be caused by someone else’s negligence.
We’ll use an icy sidewalk as an example, with Sam being a store owner who is responsible for clearing the sidewalk in front of the business. To show negligence:
In this sequence of events, you have grounds to file a personal injury claim against Sam’s business.
Now, say that Sam cleared the snow from the sidewalk but didn’t totally remove ice underneath the snow. A light dusting of new snow falls overnight. You visit Sam’s store the next afternoon, more than 24 hours after the ice accumulated. If the underlying ice causes you to slip and fall, you likely have a valid premises liability claim.
If you slip and fall on a business’s sidewalk and sustain injuries, call Fielding Law immediately. That way, we can visit the accident scene to obtain evidence before it melts away.
Proving negligence can be complicated in snowy slip-and-fall accidents because business owners will likely clear their sidewalks as soon as you leave their premises. In other cases, the snow or ice can melt. As with most accidents, you’re in a unique position to gather evidence that can support your personal injury claim because you’re present when the accident occurs.
After reporting your accident to store management or other authorities, use your phone. You should take photos of your injuries, the slick surface that caused your accident, evidence that “old” snow or ice is present, the storefront, and any other details you think are relevant. You can also record witness statements and your own statement while it’s fresh on your mind.
Store or business management may ask you to complete an accident form. Don’t include details of your injuries because a medical exam may reveal more damage than you’re aware of. Also, don’t say anything that implies the accident was your fault.
If paramedics aren’t dispatched to your accident scene, visit a doctor, clinic, or hospital immediately. You may have injuries that aren’t apparent, so this visit can benefit your health. In addition, qualified medical personnel will examine you and create a medical record that documents your injuries. Your attorney from Fielding Law will use this document as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Utah laws allow injured accident victims with valid personal injury claims to obtain three categories of damages. Ask your Fielding Law attorney which types your injury qualifies for and how much your case is worth.
Victims can incur many expenses resulting from a slip and fall on a snowy sidewalk. This category of damages reimburses you for specific expenses, including:
Your Fielding Law attorney will need copies of your bills and receipts.
Some accidents and injuries can cause damage that doesn’t have an associated price tag. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate for things like:
The amount of compensation you can receive depends, in part, on how severely these things affect your life. Your Fielding Law attorney can arrange for professional examinations to prove how much your life changed after your slip-and-fall accident. Ask your lawyer for more information.
Getting punitive damages is a relatively rare occurrence. They’re only available if the property owner or business manager is guilty of outrageous conduct and blatant disregard for your safety.
When you hire Fielding Law, it’s not about us — it’s about you. Our clients are our first priority, so you’ll have direct access to your attorney. We understand that the last thing injured accident victims need to worry about is finding the money to hire a lawyer, so we work on a contingency fee basis: you won’t pay us fees unless you win.
We’ve won over $60 million for our clients, and we want to assist you too. Contact Fielding Law today to see how we can help. Use our live chat, call us 24/7 at (877) 880-4090, or submit our online contact form to request your free initial case evaluation.