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Black Ice Slip and Falls: Are Property Owners Responsible?

With the heavy storms settling into New Jersey, it is hard to avoid the snow and ice. Black ice in particular is the cause of multiple accidents and injuries that have occurred this winter. This is the phenomenon of clear ice freezing on the roads and pavement, reflecting the dark color. It can be difficult to spot, leading to many accidents. Falls can lead to sprained ankles, broken bones, and extensive bruising. If the black ice is on a staircase, the damage can be worse. The question is, if you fall on someone else’s property, are they responsible? The answer is possibly.

Property and business owners have a responsibility to look out for black ice to prevent injuries. With the current weather conditions, it is reasonable to expect them to check the pavement and staircases surrounding their building for black ice. There are certain measures that can help eliminate black ice.

These steps include:

  • Salting the black ice, since salt acts as an agent that melts ice.
  • Using an ice pick to crack the ice.
  • Placing sand on the melt ice to give commuters traction.

If a property owner fails to care for black ice and someone is injured, the owner may be responsible. Under premises liability laws, property owners can be held accountable for injuries that occur on their premises that could have been prevented.

These factors put property owners at fault for black ice falls:

  • If the owner knew about the ice on their property, having seen it or heard about it.
  • If the ice was there for a long time, making it unreasonable for the owners to not know about it.
  • Owners created the condition themselves and failed to fix it.

If a business or property owner fails to treat the black ice on their property and a person is injured, they are responsible. If you were hurt because of a black ice fall, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our personal injury attorneys at Levinson Axelrod to schedule a free case evaluation today!


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