Snow, Ice, and Black Ice: Know Your Rights

Snow, Ice, and Black Ice: Know Your Rights

Posted on:
March 08, 2016
Personal Injury
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Every year, Michigan gets covered with snow from dangerous winter storms and blizzards. Whenever this happens, many Michiganders suffer serious injuries from falls on the snow and ice. Often, slip and fall accident victims have lots of questions about their rights and landowners’ responsibility to keep the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks safe for travel. If you have been injured while walking on snow and ice in Michigan, this article should answer a few questions you may have.

Landowners Have a Duty to Protect You

The general rule in Michigan is that a business owner, storekeeper, or the operator of any place that depends on the public for business, such as a restaurant or a gas station, owes you a duty of reasonable care to protect you from dangerous conditions. It is important to understand that these individuals are not required to keep you safe at all times. The law requires them to protect you from dangers that a reasonable person should be able to identify. This means if you are injured by an open and obvious condition, you might not be able to recover for your injuries.

What about Black Ice?

Generally, courts find that most Michigan residents know snow and ice is dangerous. But what about black ice? Michigan courts have found that black ice, ice that is not easily visible, is not an open and obvious condition unless:

  • There is evidence that the danger was visible with a simple inspection by the victims; and
  • There are other indicators a potentially hazardous condition exist.

In general, this means that weather conditions alone should make you aware that there may be black ice underneath snow.

There are a Few Exceptions to the Black Ice Rule

There are other situations in which you may be able to recover compensation for injuries sustained while walking on ice, which include:

  • Landlords have a legal and statutory duty to keep sidewalk and parking lots in good condition;
  • A dangerous situation forces you to walk through dangerous snow and ice that you can not avoid; or
  • There is another danger hidden underneath the snow that you could not have seen.

Let a Flint Personal Injury Attorney Help

Winter always seems to be long in Michigan. During our long winters, it is likely that you or a loved one can slip and fall on ice. And while they are common, a slip and fall injury may require you to miss work. You might even need to see a physical therapist if your injury is severe, which means you could have unexpected medical bills or other costs related to your fall. As a victim, you deserve compensation to cover your lost wages during the time you spent recovering from your injuries and for your medical bills. Contact the slip and fall accident lawyers at Nickola Law today to discuss your case and determine whether another party may be held responsible for your injury. Contact us at 810-767-5420 to schedule an initial consultation.


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