Can I Sue a Homeowner for Ice in Front of Their Property? By Ihab Ibrahim on January 28, 2024

ice and snow on slippery concrete stepsProperty owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions that will prevent guests from enduring harmful accidents like slips and falls. While it may be clear that you can sue a store owner for failing to clean up and mark a hazard like a wet floor, situations involving winter storm ice and snow slip and fall accident liability surrounding the exteriors of a private residence can be less straightforward.

In this post, my Jersey CityNJ, law office provides some important information you need to know about our state’s laws regarding slips and falls on snowy or slippery sidewalks in front of a property.

Premises Liability Laws

Under premises liability law, any landlord or homeowner has a legal duty to prevent dangerous conditions on their property. The extent of this duty differs depending on who exactly is on the property. Generally speaking, an owner must keep their property safe and warn these individuals of any potential hazards. 

Trespassers are owed significantly less, as a property owner’s only responsibility is to not intentionally harm them. 

With this all in mind, the early steps of evaluating your slip and fall due to icy conditions would involve our Jersey City team determining which category of guest you were and what type of duty was owed to you.

The Timing of the Storm Is Important

As icy conditions are caused by the weather, lawsuits involving ice or snow are adjudicated differently than those involving more preventable hazards like a wet floor or damaged flooring. 

To make matters more complex, different municipalities can set their own laws regarding when ice must be cleared. For example, the New Brunswick Municipal Code states that a property owner must get rid of any snow or ice on their sidewalk within 12 daylight hours of its appearance. If the ice is impossible to remove, New Brunswick property owners must cover it with sand or ashes within the same time period. 

As your slip and fall lawyer, I can determine which laws apply in your specific case and seek the maximum compensation possible. 

Commercial Properties Have Their Own Rules

During a snowstorm in 2015, a New Jersey man slipped on an icy sidewalk owned by Princeton International Properties, Inc., and broke his hip. He sued the land management company and fought a legal battle that lasted for 6 years before the state supreme court upheld that commercial landowners have no responsibility to clean up ice or snow in the middle of a storm or for a reasonable time after the storm subsides. 

The man lost his lawsuit and the precedent was set that to win a slip and fall case revolving around icy conditions, the ice had to have been allowed to remain in place after the storm and after a reasonable commercial property owner would have cleared it.

Meet With a Slip and Fall Lawyer

I founded my Jersey City, NJ, law firm in 2014. Since then, I’ve taken on and won many complex cases, including slip and fall lawsuits. In fact, I collected $300,000 for a Middlesex County client who suffered from a slip and fall. Contact our office so I can evaluate your case and see if you have a potentially lucrative lawsuit. 

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Ihab Ibrahim

Ihab Ibrahim Law Firm

Attorney Ihab Ibrahim has practiced law in Jersey City, NJ, since 2014. He is proud to represent clients in matters related to:

Mr. Ibrahim offers consultations and is available to meet at night or on weekends. To request a case review, fill out our online form or call (855) 529-0030.

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