Shoveling Snow: Act of Kindness or Duty?

Under the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act, homeowners are not liable for injuries that occur as a result of falls on icy sidewalks in front of their home, unless they have voluntarily undertaken a duty to take some action relative to the condition and, in doing so, have made the area more dangerous and created a hazard. As such, a homeowner’s decision to shovel the sidewalk may be based solely on kindness to neighbors and pedestrians. However, your locality may have its own laws when it comes to sidewalk responsibility. The City of Chicago, for instance, requires all residents to shovel snow within certain time frames, or else face fines. Use caution while walking outside in the winter. If you live in Chicago, report icy sidewalks to 311. If you slip on ice or snow and have reason to believe the homeowner created the hazardous conditions that led to your fall, please contact our firm.