It is that time of year again, the shorter days and colder weather bring dangerous snow and ice to our region. Wintery mixes and weather conditions are well known to locals for being treacherous. In Wisconsin, the average snowfall each year is about 40 inches for more southern parts of the state to upwards of 160 inches near Lake Superior. Each year our state sees approximately 40 winter weather events that pose significant risks to drivers and pedestrians. When snow blows about the road or fog falls visibility is restricted, making driving much harder.
Not only is visibility impacted during the winter months in Wisconsin, but the state sees many freezing drizzles and freezing fog which makes the roads slick with ice. October, November, and March are the most prone times for frost that builds up on bridge decks and pavements.
What Is Your Responsibility Regarding Ice And Snow In The Winter?
It is very simple, you are responsible for the removal of any snow or ice that accumulates on the property that you own. You must maintain your property because if another person slips and falls on ice that wasn’t cleared you may be liable to pay for the damages caused by the individual’s accident.
The rules governing snow removal vary depending on where you live. In Madison, for instance, owners of a property are responsible for clearing snow and ice on the sidewalk. Ordinances in the city require that the “entire width of the sidewalk from edge to edge” has all the snow or ice removed. Residents also must remove the snow or ice promptly in the city. After the snow as stopped, anyone living in Madison and owning a property has until noon on the day after the precipitation ended to have their property clear.
Madison also states that if the owner is unable to remove the ice accumulation that they must put down sand, salt, or any other material that reduces the risk ice poses to pedestrians. Putting down cinders, salt, etc. also follows the same rules as the removal of ice and snow. Residents have until noon on the day after the winter event has ended.
How Can You Keep Your Property Safe During The Winter?
Try some of these tips when winter weather moves in to keep your property secure and safe.
- Renters should refer to their lease to see who is responsible for snow and ice removal.
- If you are traveling and not at your residence during a snow event, plan to have another party remove the ice or snow. There are services that you can call to come by and take care of the accumulation, or you can ask a neighbor or friend for assistance.
- When the threat of a storm is looming, get proactive and treat your sidewalks with salt before it hits.
- Waiting until after the snow event has stopped to shovel can be a difficult and challenging task for some. It can even lead to injuries due to the heaviness of the final total. Back injuries are the most common. Shoveling throughout the winter event will make clearing any amount of snow or ice much easier and ensure that your property is properly cleared.
- If you are unable to clear your property by yourself, you must either hire help or find assistance to get it done.
- The snow and ice build-up on your roof will eventually melt and it will pour out through your gutters. When the temperatures drop, that water that has poured out will re-freeze and form icy spots.
- Icicles can drop off of your home and cause injuries. Make sure to remove them when you see them. If you cannot, put up cones or construction tape to alert others that there is a hazard present.
- Keep areas where one would walk well-lit to avoid obstacles.
Slip And Fall Attorneys In Wisconsin
The team of Janesville slip and fall attorneys at Alexander J. Smith Law Offices will help you with a personal injury claim when you have been injured on another’s property.The Janesville personal injury attorneys at Alexander J. Smith will fight to protect your rights after you have been victimized in an accident.
Call our offices today to set up a free consultation at (608) 237-7035 for residents of Wisconsin or (815) 2439686 for residents of Illinois. One of our highly committed and highly knowledgeable Wisconsin and Illinois personal injury attorneys is here to help.