The Snow has arrived here in Portland. The Metro region is blanketed in snow and ice. This means roads are hazardous, but people often forget about the dangers posed by a slippery sidewalk. The Oregonian recently reported that the snow and ice has resulted in an increase of people being admitted for fall injuries. Most of these falls are caused by people slipping on ice or snow.
Most people brush these falls off when they occur. However, once costly medical bills arrive in their mailbox they properly question why they should be forced to pay for the medical bills if they were injured in a parking-lot or sidewalk that another person was responsible for ensuring it was maintained in a safe condition.
First it is important to note, you may not be responsible for your injuries if you slipped on ice or snow. The law in many cities requires people to maintain their sidewalks and parking lots in a safe condition. More specifically, if you live in one of the cities below and you don't remove the ice and snow on your sidewalk and/or parking lot you may be breaking the law:
- Beaverton Oregon, Title IV Chapter 42, 4.207-4.208
- Eugene Oregon, Eugene City Code 7.375
- Gresham Oregon 7.15.040 (5)
- Hillsboro Oregon Chapter 9, 9.16.010
- Lake Oswego Oregon LOC 42.06.310 and 34.02.035(20)
- Milwaukie Oregon Title 12 12.04.060
- Oregon City Oregon 12.04.030-12.04.031
- Portland Oregon Portland City Ord. 17.28.020 (A))
- Salem Oregon Chapter 78 78.220
- Springfield, Oregon Chapter 3.306
- Tualatin Oregon Title 02 Section 2-2-010 - 2-04
Many people do not make an insurance claim or seek out a lawyer, because they are under the improper assumption that because they fell they are solely responsible. This may or may not be the case. However, the law is pretty clear on these issues. If a person fails to maintain their sidewalk or parking-lot in a safe condition (removing snow and ensuring it is free of ice) then the property owner is responsible.
If you were injured in a fall caused from ice or snow here are some tips:
- At the Scene: Once the area is safe, USE YOUR CELL PHONE to gather evidence: Take pictures of the area of the property where you were injured, the address of the property, witnesses, and any employees that assist you. If there is ice or snow ensure you get pictures of the snow. Try and get the depth of the snow. If it is ice, ensure the photograph accurately depicts the ice. Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are. Have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed. If you are not able do this because of your injuries, send someone to the property ASAP to gather information and photographs.
- Seek Medical Care: Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Some businesses have no fault insurance that may pay $5,000.00 of medical bills. This does not mean you need to go to the Emergency Room, but you should schedule an appointment with a Doctor or Chiropractor to ensure you have not suffered serious injuries.
- Notify the property owner or business. It is best to call a lawyer BEFORE you contact the property owner or business.
- If you fell on Public Property remember to file a TORT CLAIM NOTICE.
- Call A Lawyer at 503.224.1658: It won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next.
If you were one of the many people that reported to an Oregon Hospital for fall related injuries, feel free to call 503.224.1658 for your FREE personal injury consultation. Please remember these tips are not to be considered legal advice. You may need to take additional steps to preserve your claim. Also, the law is constantly changing, so refer to the actual law and do not rely on this post. If you have additional questions click HERE.