This year Oregon has been blessed with amazing fall weather and spectacular fall colors.  The leaves changing colors is an annual event that many Oregonians look forward to.  However ,once the leaves fall they need to be removed or they can  pose a danger to pedestrians and cyclist alike.  

Leaves can be slippery and can create a slippery surface causing people to fall. Additionally, leaves can conceal hidden dangers below.  It is common for a person to step in a hole, or trip over an uneven sidewalk due to the fact the leaves concealed the dangerous sidewalk below.  Cyclist can become very vulnerable, because they cannot see these hazards and may be traveling at a greater speed than a pedestrian.

Some Oregon cities have a requirement that property owners care for the sidewalk adjacent to the property.  This means that property owners have a duty to maintain the sidewalk in a safe condition. (For example read Chapter 17.28.020 of the Portland City Code.)  If a person falls and is injured as a result of an unsafe sidewalk the property owner who owns the property next to the sidewalk may be responsible. Also, that property ‘s home owner’s insurance should be responsible to compensate the injured party. 

Additionally some Oregon Cities require home owners and persons living in a property to remove leaves from the sidewalk adjacent to their property.  In Portland, Section 17.52.020 of the City Code imposes a duty on property owners and tenants to keep the sidewalk clear of leaves, branches, flowers and fruit.   Therefore the owner of the premises can be liable in a negligence claim if a party is injured as a result of tripping or slipping on leaves, branches, flowers or fruit that should have been removed.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of slipping or tripping on a sidewalk in Oregon please contact Jeremiah Ross and Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658 for your free personal injury consultation. Also, please do not rely solely on this post, as it is meant for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.   The law is constantly changing and it is best to consult with an Attorney rather than relying on this post. Lastly, please remember that this post does not create an Attorney Client relationship.