Chicago winters can be brutal. Between the frigid temperatures, snow, and ice, sometimes it seems like spring may never arrive. While the Polar Vortex has gone, the dangers of snow and ice linger on. Chicago sees the majority of its snowfall from New Year’s Day until February, averaging 10 inches of snow per month. Ice and snow can cause falls and other serious injuries. A fall on ice is not uncommon in Chicago winters. But who is liable if you fall on icy sidewalks, driveways or walkways?
With icy conditions on our streets, roads, and sidewalks, falls and serious injuries can become more common. Falls on snow or ice can cause you to break bones, suffer a traumatic brain injury or worse. Illinois law, however, protects property owners and managers in the event of a slip and fall caused by a natural accumulation of ice and snow.
The Snow and Ice Removal Act does not require property owners or managers to clear ice and snow from sidewalks or remove a “natural accumulation” of snow from their property. The Act also provides immunity to property owners who do shovel but don’t do a great job of removing the snow and ice. Because of this, the Act protects landowners and landlords from liability in many slip-and-fall cases. This can prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. So what should you do if you fall and are injured as a result of snow and ice accumulation?