VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It could end up costing you big time if someone slips and hurts themselves if you forget to clear snow or ice off your driveway.
Personal injury lawyers say they deal with several cases like this every winter. Ken Floe with Slater Vecchio says if you’ve left a hazard and someone gets hurt, you could definitely be held liable.
“It would depend on the injuries that the person sustained. And, for example, if they’ve lost time from work, the home owner would be responsible for reimbursing them for that time lost from work and it could extend to signficant damages if the person’s injuries were such that they were unable to work in the future,” he explains.
Floe is urging you to rake your leaves and salt your walkway.
“You do have to take some steps; you can’t just hope that everything’s going to go your way if there’s been, say, freezing rain [or] a snowfall, or [there are] wet, slippery leaves. You do have to take some efforts to try and keep those areas clean.”
“I highly recommend people make sure that third-party liability insurance they have on their home is in order and up to date,” he adds.
But he notes if you’ve done everything possible, “a court would likely find that no, you’re not responsible. It’s not a standard of perfection. You have to show that you were diligent in your efforts to keep the premises safe.”