Can a Portland Property Owner be Liable for a Slip and Fall on Ice?

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Dec 30, 2019 in Personal Injury

icy slip and fallWinter weather brings all kinds of potential dangers for pedestrians, especially when freezing temperatures and snowy weather result in icy walkways.

Can property owners be liable for injuries if you slip and fall on their property? Portland City Code says yes, they can, but it is important to understand when victims could share liability as well.

Rizk Law’s Portland slip and fall attorneys discuss property owner responsibilities and who can be held liable for a slip and fall injury. If you were injured, schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our attorneys today to see if you may have a claim for compensation.

When Can a Property Owner Be Liable for Your Icy Slip and Fall?

According to Portland City Ordinance 17.28.025, property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from any sidewalks bordering their property lines. If there is a tenant or other occupant dwelling on the property, he or she may share this responsibility, according to the terms of the lease.

Although the ordinance does not state an exact timeframe for when removal should be completed, owners or occupants are told to do so “as soon as possible,” which generally means hours, not days. Tenants or property owners who fail in this duty may be held liable for the damages if someone falls and gets injured.

Responsibly removing snow and ice from your sidewalk in Portland includes:

  • Shoveling snow or removing ice down to the concrete
  • Removing snow and piling it in a safe area – not back in the road or on your neighbor’s property
  • Making a clear path that is three feet wide
  • Posting a warning sign for pedestrians to take precautions may also be sensible

Outside the city of Portland, property owners throughout the state of Oregon are also responsible for maintaining safe sidewalks along their property lines.

How Comparative Negligence Applies

Under Oregon’s comparative negligence law, victims of slip and fall accidents or other types of accidents are permitted to pursue compensation if their negligence in the matter was not greater than the fault of all other parties combined. If you are assigned some degree of liability, your compensation award will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident.

In a slip and fall accident, the victim’s own actions may have played a role in the accident. Here are some of the ways a victim may share some fault in this type of incident:

  • You should have been aware of obvious dangerous conditions on the property
  • You continued to walk on the sidewalk even though there were posted signs to warn you of potential danger
  • You were distracted at the time of the accident, such as using a phone while walking
  • Your footwear was not appropriate for the circumstances, such as wearing heeled footwear in icy conditions
  • Your slip and fall accident occurred on an area of the property where visitors are not typically expected

What to Do After a Slip and Fall

In Oregon, victims have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit over a slip and fall injury. If your property was also damaged in the accident, you have five years from the date of the accident to file a claim for those damages.

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, take the following steps right away to protect yourself and any future legal claim:

  • Seek medical assistance for your injuries. Doing so allows your injuries to be properly diagnosed and documented, helping to link them to the accident.
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan exactly, which demonstrates you did your part throughout the recovery period and your actions, or lack thereof, did not worsen your condition.
  • Take photos of the accident scene to show the dangerous conditions on the property.
  • Collect the property owner’s name and contact information, as well as information regarding his or her insurance policy.
  • Contact a slip and fall lawyer to help you navigate the claims process and pursue compensation for your injuries.

Call Our Lawyers for Help

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident caused by a property owner’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation for various damages, such as medical bills related to the accident, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our injury attorneys at Rizk Law have extensive experience handling personal injury claims, and we have helped many injured clients obtain compensation for their injuries.

Schedule a free legal consultation today to discuss your slip and fall accident and potential legal options. Rizk Law takes personal injury cases on contingency, so you do not pay fees unless we first recover compensation on your behalf.