Wintertime is such a pleasant time of the year to think about. However, wintertime does have a dangerous downside – snow on sidewalks. You may be tempted to leave the snow lying idle on your sidewalk, after all, isn’t that the municipality’s responsibility? Your personal injury lawyer will inform you though that the municipality of Kingston is increasingly holding homeowners responsible for clearing snow on their sidewalks. This article will explain this in more detail.
What you didn’t know about municipal laws
Your personal injury lawyer will be aware of the growing trend for municipalities in Canada to hold homeowners responsible for clearing their sidewalks of snow. You, however, may have been completely ignorant of this fact. Another interesting aspect to Canadian municipal laws is that governments require roads to be cleared of snow regularly, but they don’t impose this requirement on sidewalks. They should because pedestrians can get seriously injured or even die if they slip on slushy snow on the sidewalks.
However, as your personal injury lawyer in Kingston will inform you, Canadian municipalities are increasingly recognizing the need to keep sidewalks snow-free. That’s why they are passing laws mandating this. This is crucial because Canada’s population is aging rapidly. Older people are more susceptible to sustaining a serious bodily injury or even death if they slip and fall on snow-covered sidewalks.
Municipal governments realize that requiring older people to shovel snow off of their sidewalks can endanger their safety and even their lives. They are increasingly using municipal teams to do this in municipalities with a large elderly population. Municipal governments in America are increasingly catching on. For example, the city of Rochester in New York hires and requires private contractors to shovel and plow snow off of sidewalks when it is more than six inches thick.
Your personal injury lawyer will inform you that some municipalities are taking the issue of shoveling snow off of sidewalks one step further with smart technology. They are using heated streets and sidewalks to melt the snow. The excess water is then piped away from the city to special centers where its energy is harnessed. This is an example of alternative energy in action.
Shoveling snow off your sidewalk may not be entirely your responsibility after all. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that some municipalities are on your side in this regard. This is especially true if they have large populations and concentrations of elderly people. However, it is good to know the laws so that you are not liable if there is a slip and fall accident on your premise which can show that you were negligent in removing the snow from the area.