person walking across ice

Premises Liability / ResultsTenant Fell On Black Ice

Building Owners Failing Treat Black Ice.

Tenants develop an expectation that pavement that appears wet has been treated to prevent the formation of black ice.

Tenants Pay For Quality Snow RemovalExperienced Black Ice Fall Lawyers

Tenants of office buildings and tenants of apartment complexes observe the snow and ice removal procedures followed by the landlord’s employees or contractors. After observing these procedures tenants develop an understanding as to when it is safe to walk to or from the building. Landlords almost always blame the tenant for falling on black ice. The argument is the tenant knew or should have known that the sidewalk, parking lot or road was covered in a layer of clear ice. The following are examples of George Patterson’s clients that believed it was safe to walk on what appeared to be wet pavement before they fell and suffered serious injuries:

A nurse arriving to work at a medical office building that treats oncology patients, orthopedic patients and the elderly. The nurse knew that medical tenants require the highest level of snow removal and ice prevention treatments. She rightfully believed that the pavement that appeared wet must have been treated with salt before she fell.

A Tenant that spent one and half days in her apartment after a severe snow storm. She heard the contractors using snow blowers and left her apartment. She knew from prior years that the contractors would clear the snow and salt the walkways. She saw what appeared to be wet pavement before she fell.

A tenant that went to his car about 18 hours after a small snow storm stepped on what appeared to be wet pavement and fell. He believed that the contractors had cleared the snow and treated the paved areas as they had always in the past.

In Maryland if you have a reasonable belief that it was safe to walk on wet pavement then you arguably did not assume the risk of stepping on ice and falling.

Legal Help For Injured TenantsBlack Ice Injury Lawyer

George Patterson represented a tenant that fell on black ice at a Gaithersburg Apartment complex. The client had resided at the complex for two years and knew that crews would clear and treat the walkways within one day of the snow fall ending. The tenant waited for that time to pass and she fell on an icy sidewalk. The paramedics that arrived documented that the tenant fell on ice. The building manager and the corporate designee for the complex were deposed. Those depositions revealed that the complex considered it their duty to place salt on the sidewalks to prevent refreezing. Photographs taken after the fall showed that the crews failed to clear an area of snow on a staircase near the area of the fall. An expert in snow removal hired by George Patterson visited the site and concluded that the snow from this un-cleared location melted and then froze over the area that the client fell. The insurance company faced with the admissions that were obtained in depositions, the expert reports and photographic evidence agreed to settle the case for $200,000. The offer before suit was filed was $30,000. The personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law have litigated cases involving falls on black ice for the past 20 years. The injury lawyers have prevailed in fall cases on black ice when the law was unfavorable to plaintiffs and have continued to prevail in black ice fall cases now that the law is more lenient on those who have fallen on black ice.

A property owner may hire a contractor to handle snow and ice removal but the landowner remains legally responsible for failures to properly clear and treat ice.

Prior to this experience, my only knowledge about lawyers was from tv and through others experiences. Needless to say, I was intimidated and uneasy when it came to seeking legal-council. George changed all of that for me. George was extremely professional and made this process as pleasant as possible. He walked me through each step, ahead of time, so that I was properly prepared and informed throughout it all. I could not have chosen a better attorney, and am extremely pleased with the outcome. Please save your time and energy searching for an attorney. He’s the one!


Wrongful Death Client

Maryland case law previously barred plaintiffs from recovering for falls on clear ice reasoning that they assumed the risk of their injuries. I continued to take these cases and the Maryland Courts reversed this erroneous holding.

George Patterson

Premises Liability Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence please contact the best personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The “best” injury lawyers may be reached at their Annapolis or Bowie offices at 301-888-4878.

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