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Winter storms bring winter hazards for Rhode Islanders

This time of year, folks all across Rhode Island brace themselves for winter weather. We trudge through snow to walk our dogs, leave extra time to get to work when the roads are icy and bundle up to keep warm.

However, there are additional precautions property owners must take in the winter months. These actions can be especially crucial after snowfalls and winter storms, like those that recently blew through New England and are expected to hit again in the coming days. This can be a crucial time for property owners to revisit their responsibilities and make sure they are addressing and removing certain hazards that could lead to injury.

Just as we take precautions and make adjustments when we are driving, property owners are expected to take additional steps to prevent accidents around homes and other buildings. For example, property owners should:

  • Clear snow and ice from sidewalks
  • Put up signage in entryways alerting others of wet or slippery floors
  • Make sure walkways and other areas are well-lit
  • Address any areas where accumulated snow or icicles could fall and cause injuries
  • Repair drainage issues that could be creating avoidable ice patches

Failure to do these things can lead to falls and other accidents resulting in serious injuries for victims. Damages can be extensive and might include having to take time off of work, medical expenses and the emotional toll of being severely injured.

If you have been injured on someone else's property and there is reason to believe the property owner was negligent in maintaining safe premises, you may want to consider legal action to protect yourself and pursue the compensation you may deserve. Discussing your accident and the resulting damages with an attorney can help you assess your options and make a decision about how to proceed.

Source: NBC 10 News, "Overnight snow fall creates slippery road conditions," Matt Reed, Jan. 18, 2016

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