As the Winter season approaches here is a helpful tip when it comes to shoveling your sidewalk. You need to actually shovel your sidewalk.

Not Obligated To Shovel Your Sidewalk

You may think shoveling your sidewalk is an essential part of winterizing your house. However, a homeowner is not obligated to shovel their sidewalk or driveway.  If they do decide to shovel, they have a duty to do so in a reasonable manner, which means they should shovel in a way as to not create any hidden hazards.  For example, a sidewalk is shoveled but a pile of wet snow is left on part of the sidewalk, it partially melts and re-freezes over night.  If that ice creates a hazard and someone slips and falls, there could be a liability issue.

Best advice is to either do nothing, or do a reasonably good job shoveling and finish it. The worst thing to do start shoveling, get partially finished and then stop.  A partially shoveled walk or drive could create hidden hazards.  There doesn’t seem to be as many slip and fall liability as there used to be.  Insurance companies defend the property owners and it seems as though most attorneys are shying away from them.

Source – A Regional Vice-President of claims of a major insurance company.

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