It’s winter in Colorado. If you are a property owner, you probably know you are responsible for clearing your driveway and sidewalk within 24 hours following a snowstorm. You may also know that snow must be placed on your own property, not the street, and that if you have property near a crosswalk, entrance way, intersection, or exit, you must ensure those areas are free of snow as well. Since that can add up to a lot of shoveling, you may rely on a snow removal company to accomplish this task.
But if you do, yet snow remains, who is responsible if someone slips and falls on your sidewalk?
Recent Legislation Changes
On May 30, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 062 into law to help address this question. The legislation specifically addresses indemnification language in snow and ice management contracts to prevent property owners from passing blame to snow removal companies for injuries due to slips and falls. Most snow removal contracts state that a two-inch accumulation of snow is required before plowing can begin. However, in the past, property owners have still been able to hold snow removal companies liable even in cases of light accumulation, when removing the snow would have violated the company’s own contract.
Property Owners Are Accountable
Now, property owners may find themselves facing increased accountability. If you hire a snow removal company, read the contract carefully to understand your responsibilities. Understand that you may still need to get out a shovel and boots for light snows. Yes, we know shoveling snow is not everyone’s favorite task, but it’s worth it. The injuries from slips and falls can be severe. No one wants to fall on your property and you don’t want them to, either.
And if you have been injured due to someone else’s failure to remove snow and ice?
Call the experienced legal team at Shafner Law. We’ve handled many cases like yours. Let’s see if we can help you, too.
Article by Molly Fuscher