Does a store have a duty to keep their sidewalk clear?

by Anonymous
(USA)

After a snowstorm I fell while walking out of a store and broke my leg. I am suing for my injuries but I was told by my doctor that I probably would not prevail because it was an act of nature.

Is he correct? Doesn't the store have a duty to keep their sidewalk clear? Don't they have to pay the medical bills for my broken leg? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Does a store have a duty to keep their sidewalk clear?":

Anonymous (USA):

The store is only liable if you fell on the store's property. The store has a "Duty of Care" to its customers to keep the pathways and parking lots clear of snow, water, and ice. If at the time you fell there was a blizzard or snowstorm going on and it was virtually impossible for the store owner to keep the parking lot clear, that might be considered an Act of God. Whether or not the store owner knew there was an accumulation of snow, water or ice may be irrelevant. He "should" have known.

Contact the store owner and explain what happened. Hopefully at the time of your fall you notified the store manager or one of its employees. Without proof of your fall and resulting injury you may have a very difficult time recovering any amount of money.

See if the store made an Incident Report of some type. If they did you shouldn't have much of a problem being compensated for your injuries. Ask the store owner to refer the matter to his insurance company. That should start the ball rolling.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

P.S. Please help us out by sharing this site...

Click here to post comments

Return to Sidewalk Injury Questions.

How Much Is Your Claim Worth?

Find out now with a FREE case review from an attorney...

How Much Are Your
Injuries Worth?

Find out with a
free attorney review:

TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION