Black ice forms when snow melts and refreezes, making it transparent and unusually slick. Just as black ice on the road presents an elevated risk of anauto accident, It is a more serious slip and fall risk than normal snow and ice. It is difficult to see and more likely to cause a fall and serious injuries when overlooked. The formation of black ice on walkways is preventable.
Black ice injuries
In addition to being difficult to see and very slick, black ice is also incredibly hard. Injuries caused by falling on black ice can be severe and even fatal. Black ice slip and fall injuries can include:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Hip injuries
Where and why black ice forms
Black ice typically forms in areas where the melt off of snow and ice is allowed to accumulate and refreeze. This can be due to poor design or improper maintenance such as:
- Poorly designed and/or poorly placed gutter systems
- Sidewalks and walkways with inadequate drainage
- Improper snow removal methods
Slip and fall accidents caused by black ice can occur in outdoor walking areas including:
- Parking lots
You may be entitled to compensation if you are injured by falling on black ice outside a business or in a public place such as:
- Apartment building
- Shopping mall
- Gas station
- Convenience store
- Parking garage
- Public sidewalk
- Warehouse or “big box” store
- Other retail establishments
Who is responsible for black ice slip and fall accidents
Like most slip and fall accidents, those caused by black ice fall under an area of law called premises liability. Premises liability holds property owners and those who control a property, such as business owners, responsible for maintaining a safe environment for their guests and customers.
Black ice slip and fall accidents are almost always foreseeable. Because of the nature of black ice and how it forms, property owners have the opportunity to remove or prevent the danger.
When the cause of black ice accumulation can not be quickly remedied, such as inadequate drainage requiring the rebuilding of a sidewalk or parking lot, barriers and warning signs can be used to keep unsuspecting victims from walking through the area.
In many cases normal deicing techniques, such as applying salt, can be used in the interim until the underlying problem is solved.
Responsible parties in black ice slip and fall accidents can include:
- Property owners
- Business owners
- Government entities (responsible for some sidewalks, public parking lots, and other pedestrian areas)
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a black ice slip and fall accident, contact an experienced premises liability attorney in your area today.