Do Michigan Businesses Need to Shovel their Snow?
The short of it is yes, as a Michigan business you owe the highest duty of care to your customers. Invitees, i.e. paying customers, need to be protected from unreasonable harms.
What are examples of unreasonable harms that could lead to a slip and fall type of injury?
• Broken sidewalks
• Wet floors
• Improperly marked steps
• Icy walkways
• Dangerous chemicals
And what about winter? Well, to protect your patrons during the winter months it’s best to ensure you’ve taken adequate measures to avoid a potential slip and fall injury. Michigan slip and falls are costly for all businesses, and protecting yourself from any potential liability could save you thousands of dollars and a severe headache.
• Parking lots
• Other outdoor surfaces
Michigan is located near the 42nd north parallel and is therefore prone to snowy conditions. A business should ensure that there is always a safe ingress:
• Put up warning signs
• Have a doorman assist people
These are all ways to reduce your liability. While snow and ice on a sidewalk might not mean that you were negligent as a business owner, failing to provide a safe means into your establishment does. Why? Because your business created the dangerous situation that put your potential customers at risk.
The reason that invitees are given such protection is because a business profits off its customers. The tradeoff to making money off of Michigan’s citizens is that you need to ensure their safety.
According to Michigan case law, there is “no duty for pedestrians to clear the public sidewalk of natural accumulations of ice and snow.” However, there are city ordinances that might require you to shovel the public sidewalk outside of your house, but if someone is injured while on a public sidewalk because somebody didn’t shovel, then the person that’s been injured can’t sue you for premise liability.
Why? Because that would open the courthouse for a variety of unfounded claims.
Our firm has been handling Michigan slip and fall accidents for over 30 years. You don’t pay until we recover the money that’s rightfully yours. If you’ve been injured, then we’re your Southfield, Michigan slip and fall attorneys.
At Goodwin & Scieszka, we handle a variety of other Michigan personal injury claims too:
• Dog bites
• Wrongful death
• Defective products
• Car, motorcycle, snowmobile, truck, bus accidents
• Birth trauma
Any and all injuries, we’re here for you.
We use our blog as a place to update you about the law and we provide tips to avoid potential liability. Stay tuned for more updates!