St. Louis, Missouri and other midwestern regions are expected to receive snow and ice this evening. Although the weather reports do not call for much by way of accumulation, oftentimes, it is the small amounts of snow and ice that can cause problems. Black ice is a thin sheet of ice that is extremely difficult to see. It is termed “black” because when it appears on black pavement, the ice is nearly invisible – or black. Black ice is dangerous for that very reason – it is hard to see. Typically, when drivers approach visable snow or ice on the roadway, they will slow their speed because they know that the roadway will be slick. Black ice, on the other hand, creates a situation where the drivers come upon a slick surface unexpectedly. One of the most dangerous conditions on a roadway is an unexpected one. Many Missouri and Illinois car accidents in the cold winter months occur because of slick roadways.
But auto accidents are not the only way people can be seriously injured as a result of snow and ice. Because of the holidays, even when the weather is bad, people venture out to stores and malls to shop for holiday gifts. Black ice can appear on sidewalks just as it appears on streets and roadways. As a dangerous property and slip and fall attorney, I have represented many clients who have fallen on black ice and snow. The laws of Missouri and Illinois require property owners to take certain steps to protect those lawfully on their property. Typically, property owners are not required to clear their sidewalks and walkways of snow and ice. However, if the owner chooses to do so, he/she must not do so negligently. A fall on ice or snow – which can result in broken hips, legs, arms and other injuries – may be attributed to the carelessness of another. If that is the case, the injured party may have a cause of action against the property owner even though the weather conditions were uncontrollable.


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