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Anyone been sued for slip&falls?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mr hydroseed, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. mr hydroseed

    mr hydroseed Member
    Messages: 53

    This will be my first year doing big time commercial snow removal and salting, I'm pretty concerned about being sued as many of you are also. Should i be? I live in New Hampshire, We get snow, freezing rain and etc. No matter how perfect you are at removing snow and applying salt there will always be some area that you are responsible for that will be slippery and anyone could fall and say that it was your fault. How much should people really worry about slip and fall claims? I would think the courts would realize this and not favor these type of people that try to sue because they fell on slippery snow during a snow storm. Right?????
  2. Killswitch

    Killswitch Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    I dont have any figures but judging from the amount of insurance companies that either dont cover snow removal contractors or make it clear that they dont want too by pricing it high tells me theres a fair share of claims going around.

    Property damage probably makes up the bulk of the claims, but personal injury makes up most of the dollars.

    Its a worthwhile concern.

    Edit: I also know theres a lot of settlements out there and more often than not, personal injury cases do not go to court.
  3. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    Dont under estimate the court system...

    We had a contractor out of our pit get hauled into court because a home owner claimed that the salt out of his sander killed his pine trees in front of his house.This is plowing and sanding for the state.
    He got off of the charges, but had to spend a couple days doing research, then a day in court etc....What a Farce,Damned if you do Damned if you dont!
  4. snoking

    snoking Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    We were suied twice two years ago by a 45 y/o man and a 73 y/o women. Didnt even turn it into the insurance. When we walked in to court i submitted our driver sheets and bills for the time frame, along with the weather reports prior to the day the incidents happened and the following day to show what really happenened with the weather...wait sorry weather men are always right...lol

    The judge read everything and turned and asked them(seperate days) how long have you live in michigan(answer, My whole life), how long in this town(answer, 24 years, and 60 years),,,judge says, well then you know between october and march its going to snow, your used to it, I would tell you to live with it but you already have. And then threw them out. I never been sued again..

    BTW. 18 inches that day and night....


    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    if your concerned maybe put more salt down thats about the best you can do. to cover your ass.
  6. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus Member
    Messages: 71

    hey mr hydroseed i live only 20 minutes away from u....newbury ma
  7. mr hydroseed

    mr hydroseed Member
    Messages: 53

    hey imdawrlus i live only 20 minutes away from u....hampton, nh :)
  8. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I have it in my contract that Im not liable for slips or falls. Minein most cases the property owner says when and how much salt.
  9. Contract

    Put in the contract the following "We cannot guarantee a slip free surface"
  10. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Thats a really good idea.. :nod:
  11. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    You can't get blood from a stone... :nono:

    Try this...
    Become poor! :p

    Live day-to-day and paycheck-to-paycheck. Use money orders and don't open a checking account. Rent an apartment, don't live in a house. Take the money you would spend on plowing insurance and take your wife out to dinner, becuase if you have nothing they can't take anything from you! :eek:

    Live poor, but live without fear! :nod:

    It's the "American" way!
  12. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Have it, been sued didn't help at all.
  13. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    The best thing you can do is to keep excellent records. When we service an account we mark down; the time started/finished the service, conditions before service, lot conditions during service, services provided, material(s) used & qty(s), damages etc.. we do all of this stop by stop through out the storm and then after the storm I write a summary of the weather during the storm, the actions we took and why, timing etc......... all of this gets filed with the faxed report from our answering service of all phone calls for each and every "event".

    When you get "sued" and I used when, because most likely it will happen, your best defense is information to provide to the insurance company's lawyer to defend it with. The scuzzabll lawyer the victim got will try to make EVERYTHING your fault and the best thing you can do is give your lawyer as much as possible to refute these allegations.

    The thing you want to make sure of too is that things are worded in your contracts that the customer is responsible for notifying you immediately of dangerous conditions etc.. as well as they need to call to initiate service.

    When we did have a claim filed against us we didn't have that much to go on. It took over two years fo the whole thing to play out ad in the end the Insurance Co. settled. Next time though!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are armed for bear!!!!!!!!!!!1
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2005