Yes, the city has a duty to keep the streets and sidewalks safe for travel. This includes structural defects which may cause someone to trip as well as accumulations of ice and snow. The city may be negligent if it fails to perform its duty of keeping sidewalks safe for travel.
A city does not have a responsibility to clear snow or ice which is in its original, natural state. However, a city may be liable if the snow is allowed to pile up in drifts or form ridges. To recover, you must show that the accumulation made the sidewalk dangerous or unsafe and that with reasonable care the city could have made it safe. In other words, you must show that the city's negligence caused or contributed to a dangerous condition. It is not the quantity of snow or ice allowed to accumulate but rather the dangerous character of the snow or ice which determines liability.
The pedestrian also has a duty to exercise ordinary care when walking on snowy or icy sidewalks. Mere slipperiness of a sidewalk is not enough to establish liability. Slippery conditions from natural causes are thought to put people on notice of the danger.
If you have suffered injuries from a snowy or icy sidewalk, the city may be responsible. Proving your case and dealing with the city can be difficult, but a personal injury lawyer can help you recover for your injuries.
Last Modified: 05-21-2018 07:14 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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