A Good Plan Can Save Property Owners from Liability and Lawsuits
Most people don’t think about safety until an accident happens. That’s unwise.
Ben Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and never is that more appropriate than when dealing with snow and ice. Property owners a responsible for the safety and security of their premises, inside and out. A plan to make sure, every day, that snow is removed, ice is melted, driveways and sidewalks are safe is a plan to avoid accidents, liability issues, and lawsuits.
Kansas has laws dealing with who is or is not at fault for accidents and they are based on a system called the 50-percent Bar Rule. This rule means that damaged party cannot recover if it is 50 percent or more at fault, but if it is 49 percent or less at fault, it can recover, although its recovery is reduced by its degree of fault.
As an example, let’s say a business owner opens his business in the morning and there is ice on a portion of the sidewalk. Unfortunately the owner has run out of salt, so he uses a traffic cone and a sign to tell people not to walk there. Along comes a person who is busy texting and walks right on the ice, slips, falls, and breaks his arm. Who is to blame?
The property owner is going to claim innocence based on the cone that was set up, and that may be true or not. The legal system can be a difficult place to navigate and understand, so that may not necessarily be the decision rendered. In cases like this an expert witness may be called upon to give an opinion about the situation that will assist the court to reach a fair decision based on fact.
Jeremy Swenson a well-known expert witness in this field. His knowledge and experience in issues regarding snow removal, ice, and other hazards of winter weather are unsurpassed. He has been advising businesses on safety procedures and helping them formulate plans to avoid accidents for over 15 years.
Some of the areas Jeremy can help a business avoid snow and ice-related accidents are:
- Swenson Consulting offers snow removal consulting, information and services to legal professionals or business owners needing assistance with the standard practices, procedures and operations of a snow removal company as well as how this relates to the snow removal agreement in a slip & fall incident or snow related accidents.
- Swenson Consulting has developed proprietary snow operations software and can help business owners who desire to build a comprehensive snow operations plan.
- We offer general business advice for many different types of situations including how to grow your business, diversify your services, or how to effectively collect your invoicing.
Kansas usually sees its first snow in November, and it is now August. Time to ask some questions:
- Do you have a plan in place for snow and ice removal?
- Do you have enough salt and equipment to deal with an above-average snow season?
- Has everyone been properly trained in snow removal methods?
- Do you have a daily checklist so nothing is missed on a snow day?
We can be reached by calling 816-564-9131 to help you plan your safety strategy.