Legal Liability & Fallen Leaves | Scott Goodwin Law

Legal Liability & Fallen Leaves

by / Friday, 14 October 2022 / Published in Personal Injury
Colorful leaves on the ground next to a tree.

Fall has officially arrived. The weather has cooled off, the kids are back in school, and football season is in full swing. And, of course, lots of leaves have been turning colors and fall off of trees. As beautiful as those leaves can be, there’s no denying that falling leaves can have some downsides. Raking can be a very strenuous job, but it’s still important to make sure you stay on top of leaf removal. If you don’t, those leaves can potentially create questions about legal liability for injuries. 

Wet Leaves & Slip and Fall Accidents

Fallen leaves and rain can be a very slippery combination. And if temperatures drop below freezing after a rainfall, things can get even worse. Wet, fallen leaves on the road can pose a safety hazard to drivers during the fall months because of how slick they can be and when those wet leaves are on a sidewalk, they can be dangerous for pedestrians as well. So if someone falls on some wet leaves on a walkway leading to your house, on your sidewalk, or on your driveway, could you be legally liable for their injuries?

Generally speaking, homeowners have a responsibility to make sure their property is free of things that could reasonably be seen as safety hazards to visitors and other people who can legally enter your property, such as letter carriers, other package delivery workers, and utility workers. In the winter, one example of dealing with reasonably foreseeable safety hazards is to clear snow and ice from walkways and driveway. Or in the spring and summer, this can mean making sure garden hoses aren’t left stretched across paths people are likely to walk through. Wet leaves may also fall into this category. However, with any slip and fall case, a big question is going to be whether or not the property owner reasonably should have been aware the hazard existed and had a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Injuries While Raking Leaves

Since raking leaves can be a big job, it’s a chore that many people like to outsource. But while some people might contract a yard maintenance company to do that work for them, others may hire an enterprising teenager or kid from the neighborhood. If you hire a professional yard maintenance company to take care of your leaves, the company should have insurance to cover injuries to workers if they get hurt on the job. But what happens if that teenager or kid you hired to rake your leaves gets injured while working in your yard, since they likely won’t have business insurance?

If your child or teen is hurt while clearing leaves for someone else, you may want to consult a personal injury lawyer to find out more about how the law applies to your exact situation. For example, was the injury caused by something dangerous in the yard that the homeowner knew about and should have known would be dangerous? Or was the injury caused by debris being moved around by a leaf blower? A lawyer will be able to help you understand your legal options.

Contact a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident of any kind, Goodwin & Scieszka is here to help. When you contact us, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in helping accident victims in the state of Michigan. We handle a wide range of cases, including slip and falls, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, and more. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Image: Lynda Grasso / Unsplash