Ice can stick around for a while, and sometimes it’s difficult to clear from sidewalks and driveways. When it snows heavily, followed by periods of melting and freezing, a thick layer of ice can develop. A reluctance to use salt, which damages asphalt and lawns, leaves some willing to wait for a thaw in the winter season. There are important reasons for removing the ice, which you should pay attention to.
Consider your bylaws
In certain municipalities, the bylaws hold homeowners responsible for clearing the sidewalk of ice and snow. Homeowners have a limited amount of time to remove the ice or else risk incurring an infraction against the city’s laws. Typically, anyone can file a complaint on un-shoveled ice. Depending on the procedures followed by the municipality, an officer may be sent to check, warn, and re-inspect the portion of sidewalk in question. Failure to comply may result in a fine.
Be a good neighbour
Many people use sidewalks. You may or may not walk to local establishments from your house. Unless your home is located in an area not frequented by pedestrians, your neighbours will be on the sidewalk in front of your home. This includes children, parents with strollers, and the elderly. Service workers, either privately hired or employed by the city, use the sidewalk as well. Clear the way to make the jobs of waste disposal workers, telecommunications technicians, water and power readers, and others easier. Injury to anyone is not ideal for the parties involved.
In lucky cases, a slip on the ice will lead to no injuries. The person who falls walks away from the incidence in good health. Slipping on ice can lead to fractured bones, muscle strain, tailbone injury, or even damage to the head. These injuries can have long-term effects on health, as well as disrupting normal life and activities of the person who falls. If you walk to and from your home frequently, save yourself the risk of hurting yourself by removing winter ice.
Suing for damages
The law behind damages is something many lawyers know much about. It may be found that the city is responsible for paying the damages of a slip-and-fall lawsuit, or the homeowner may be burdened with the fees. A court of appeal case in Canada decided the municipality was at fault in that particular case. This fact does not mean that all homeowners are no longer responsible for any injuries incurred on the sidewalk bordering their home.