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Property Owner Responsibility During the Winter

January 3, 2024

The arrival of winter brings added responsibilities around a home or business. Keeping yourself and others safe during winter can be challenging as snow falls and ice develops. If you have been injured on a business or personal property during the winter months, speak with a Charleston West Virginia personal injury attorney to discuss the damages you may be owed.

Keeping Your Property Safe in Winter

Winter property accidents can result in severe injury. To keep yourself and others safe, observe local ordinances. Charleston, WV Code of Ordinances Section 102-52 requires property owners, including occupants and non-residents, to maintain sidewalks abutting their property.

According to this ordinance, a property owner owes others a duty of care to maintain sidewalks adjoining their property. Failing to do so can lead to financial responsibility for the damages caused to an individual. The injured party is required to prove negligence resulted in the accident and that the accident caused their injuries.

If you own rental property, then the type of premises may determine who is responsible for winter maintenance, such as snow removal. If the unit is a single-family dwelling or business space, the lessee may be stipulated in the rental agreement to be responsible for winter maintenance. However, units containing multiple families or businesses may be the responsibility of the property owner or manager.

Determining Open and Obvious Dangers

Regarding other facets of an individual’s property, referencing the West Virginia Code is vital. Every property owner owes a duty of care to those who access their property. Determining what an open and obvious danger is and how the danger contributed to your injuries on someone else’s property should be discussed with a premises liability lawyer in West Virginia.

Consider What is Defined as Property

Owners should also be aware of trees on their property during wintertime. If you live in a neighborhood with covenants or guidelines, refer to these documents to determine your responsibilities. Trees and limbs that are overgrown, damaged, or present the risk of falling should be addressed. The weight of snow, ice, and other winter conditions poses a threat to trees and those around you.

When a tree injures someone or damages the property or person of a neighbor during a tornado or other unprecedented storm, homeowner’s insurance may cover the damages. However, uncared-for trees that result in damages can be considered negligent acts. So, what should you do if you are injured on or by someone else’s property during the winter?

Take These Steps After Being Injured on Someone’s Property in West Virginia

If you are injured while visiting a business or personal property, take these steps to support a premises liability claim. Medical costs and other damages can be costly depending on your injuries. Let a Charleston Premises Liability Attorney at Salango Law answer your questions concerning complex property negligence cases.

  • Seek medical care and keep all medical records relating to the accident
  • Photograph the scene of the accident, or take videos if possible
  • Ask for witness contact information
  • Get a copy of any law enforcement reports or documentation
  • Keep receipts for any expenses related to your injuries

The Charleston personal injury attorneys at Salango Law are experienced and knowledgeable of the intricate laws pertaining to premises liability. You may be owed for damages due to a property owner’s negligence in winter. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your injuries and the compensation you may be entitled to.