Ice slip and fall settlements can include medical bills, wage loss, pain, suffering and disability. The losses or damages must be related to or caused by the slip and fall on ice or snow. This requires an expert medical opinion from the doctor stating that the fall on ice was a substantial factor in causing the injury or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. In addition, the medical bills are recoverable if the treatment was reasonable and necessary as a result of the icy slip and fall. But any recovery of damages is predicated upon the property owner or maintenance company being legally liable.
In Wisconsin, a property owner and its snow removal company must use ordinary care under the existing circumstances to remove dangerous ice and avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. “Ordinary care” is the degree of care, which the great mass of people ordinarily uses under the same or similar circumstances. An owner fails to use ordinary care when, without intending to do any wrong, it fails to do what is reasonable to remove the ice or snow in order to prevent an unreasonable risk of injury or damage. In performing this duty, an owner must use ordinary care to discover conditions or defects on the property, which expose a person to an unreasonable risk of harm. He cannot ignore the weather forecast. If an icy unreasonable risk of harm existed and the owner was aware of it, or, if in the use of ordinary care should have been aware of it, then it was the owner’s duty to either remover the ice or warn other persons of the condition so they do not get hurt slipping on the ice which can result in broken bones or sprained ligaments, tendons and muscles.
The biggest hurdle in proving ice negligence is proving notice – that the owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. If you do slip and fall on ice, take a photo of the ice immediately and get the names of witnesses. Very important to document the ice that caused your fall. Rarely can an injured party prove actual notice, because the owner is not going to admit, yeah we saw the dangerous condition but did not salt it. More likely we will have to prove constructive notice, that the owner should have been aware of the icy danger. The key issue in proving constructive notice is time. The injured person must be able to articulate that the dangerous ice existed for a period of time that a reasonable owner would have noticed it. McCormick Law Office attorneys have experience getting successful ice slip and fall settlements.