In Indiana, if icy conditions on a property lead to your slip and fall, it’s important to know what the property owner should have done to prevent it. Property owners of establishments such as apartment complexes and retail businesses are responsible for maintaining safe premises, which involves removing snow and ice from walkways.

If property owners fail to keep their properties safe and you are injured, our Indiana slip and fall lawyers at Wagner Reese can help you pursue compensation. Below are five essential measures that every property owner should implement to ensure visitor safety during the winter:

1. Lay Down Salt

Business owners and apartment managers are expected to spread salt on walkways, parking lots, and entryways to prevent ice formation. This type of salt, usually sold as rock salt or sodium chloride, works by lowering the freezing point of water, melting existing ice, and stopping new layers from forming.

Property owners should strategically spread salt before snowfall to prevent ice adherence and after snow removal to address residual icy areas. Regular checks and reapplications as necessary are essential to maintain safety.

2. Shovel Regularly

Property owners are responsible for clearing snow from walkways, parking spaces, and entrances to minimize the risk of slip and fall incidents. This should ideally be done at the onset of snowfall before it has a chance to settle. Early removal makes the snow easier to handle and less prone to compaction. If snow is not shoveled promptly, it can compact and turn into ice, increasing the likelihood of accidents from slipping and falling.

After clearing the snow, allocate specific spots, like vacant parts of the parking lot or open grass areas, to pile the snow. This strategy ensures that these snow stacks do not obstruct walkways, roadways, or visibility for pedestrians and vehicles. Property owners in Indiana cannot remove snow and leave it on public roadways. If someone is injured due to the snow removal practices of a property owner, the person responsible for the snow removal may be found liable.​

3. Mop Up Water

To reduce the risk of slip and fall incidents, regularly mop entryways, hallways, and communal areas in commercial properties and apartment buildings, especially when busy. This helps to remove water from melted ice and snow, ensuring high-traffic areas remain dry and safe.

Maintenance teams should use highly absorbent string mops to eliminate excess water from melted snow and ice. These mops are specifically designed to handle large areas and efficiently soak up moisture, making them an effective tool for keeping floors dry and safe.

4. Use Absorbent Non-Slip Mats

Enhancing safety is achievable by strategically placing high-quality, non-slip mats in commercial buildings. Opting for mats made from absorbent materials like microfiber or rubber-backed carpet can help trap moisture, reducing the likelihood of slipping on wet floors.

Placing these mats at all primary entrances and exits and in other busy areas such as lobbies and elevator doorways allows visitors to wipe their feet. This practice instantly captures water from outside, helping maintain dry floors.

5. Place Wet Floor Signs

To keep visitors and tenants safe, especially during snowy or icy weather, use wet floor signs in areas that are likely to be slippery. These signs alert people to possible slipping hazards and are crucial for commercial property owners and landlords in meeting their safety obligations.

Typical wet floor signs are eye-catching yellow, foldable stands featuring prominent messages like “Caution: Wet Floor” or “Warning: Slippery When Wet.” Many also display a pictogram of a person slipping, ensuring the message is clear and universally recognizable.

Signs should be displayed in locations immediately after they are cleaned or in areas prone to water accumulation from tracked in rain and snow, such as building entrances.

What Happens if Property Owners Don’t Take These Steps?

In Indiana, property owners face legal consequences if they don’t adequately address snow and ice hazards. State premises liability laws require landlords and commercial property owners to take reasonable action to clear snow and ice accumulations on walkways and other areas where visitors are expected.

This includes inspecting the premises for potentially dangerous conditions and providing sufficient warning to visitors about potential hazards​.

If you’ve been injured due to property owner neglect, you may be eligible to file a claim against the property owner or any other individual responsible for maintaining the area where you fell.

Speak With a Qualified Attorney Today

Our legal team at Wagner Reese has successfully secured tens of millions in settlements, verdicts, and arbitration awards for our clients. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a winter slip and fall at a commercial property or residential complex, obtaining a settlement could help your recovery.

Our experienced slip and fall attorneys can use their knowledge of premises liability laws to assist you in filing a claim against a negligent property owner or landlord and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free case review.