Prevent Slip and Falls: Shovel Your Sidewalk
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on January 14, 2009 in Personal Injury
Both the Journal Sentinel(JS) and the Wisconsin State Journal(WSJ) published articles addressing the problems associated with snowy/icy roadways or sidewalks.
The WSJ reported at least 177 emergency room visits for injuries such as bumps, bruises, and fractures from slip and fall accidents since plummeting temperatures froze last Saturdays rainfall. City officials have said that the salting and sanding efforts have expanded to include all residential streets in addition to the main roads, bus routes and around schools, hospitals and fire stations.
What are property owners supposed to do in these situations? Make sure you shovel and/or spread ice/sand.
Madison building inspectors began issuing $109 citations to property owners who failed to clear the sidewalks and make them safe. If the ticketed sidewalks are not clear the next business day, then the city will do the job and charge $100 or more depending on the amount of work required. If residents receive a citation, a second and subsequent ticket costs $172.
According to the JS article, the Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works has received 1,968 complaints about un-shoveled sidewalks so far this year.
Milwaukee city ordinances say if you own property adjacent to a public sidewalk, you are responsible for shoveling that sidewalk within 24 hours after a snowfall. If you fail to do so, city inspectors will post a notice ordering you to shovel. If you still have not cleared your sidewalk(s), then the city will do it for $118, at minimum.
What happens if you do not pay the citations? They are added onto your property tax.