5 Winter-Related Legal Issues You Should Know

If you are one of the lucky ones that live in an area where it snows this time of year, you are quite familiar with the toll snow and ice can take. From shoveling to dealing with ice damage, there is a lot to keep up with this time of year.

During these long winter months, it’s important to know the applicable laws in your area and what to do if you run into a legal issue regarding snow removal or if someone slips on your property. Here are some legal issues to consider:

Snow Removal

One of the most common homeowner legal issues related to the winter months involves snow removal. In many cities there are laws that require property owners to remove snow from their property. If you are a renter, that liability most likely falls to your landlord or the property owner. Being in violation of state or local snow removal laws can lead to fines and/or lawsuits.

Slips on Ice

If you have not cleared your walkways and driveways per your city’s ordinances and an individual slips and falls on your property, you could be liable for any injuries he or she incurs. Most cities require that homeowners make a reasonable attempt to clear their property of snow to prevent injuries. If you have an incident with an individual slipping on your property, an attorney can go over your rights and offer advice on what to do.

Insurance Claims

As the snow and ice accumulates, it can do significant damage to your home. During the winter months it’s not uncommon to have to file an insurance claim for damage done to your property. An attorney can review your insurance documents and discuss what steps to take to file a claim or assist with any disputes that may arise from the claim.

Car Accidents

The winter months are also a treacherous time for drivers as the roads become dangerous with snow and ice. Because of all of the different conditions that can lead to an accident in the winter, legal help is often needed to assess the situation and determine your liability in an accident.

Tax Help

Once we get through the winter months, another dreaded event occurs – Tax Day. In the event you do get audited for your taxes, you may need the assistance of an attorney to review your return and advise you on appearing before the IRS. Tax ID theft is also on the rise, so if you have any concerns that an ID thief may have filed a return for you, an attorney can discuss your options and how to resolve the issue.