Personal injury on your West Virginia property can cost you a pretty penny in the wintertime. As a matter of fact, snow and ice are the fifth leading cause of homeowners’ insurance claims in the United States, with the average claim totaling more than $5,500. Delivery people, mail carriers and guests can slip and fall on your icy steps, unshoveled sidewalk or snowy front porch. Here are some ways you can protect your family and your pocketbook this winter:
Trim Trees and Clear Branches. Trees are weakened by snow and ice, so be sure to keep low-hanging branches trimmed during the winter months so they don’t snap and fall on someone or block walkways.
Melt Ice on Pathways. Use kitty litter, rock salt or sand to keep driveways, sidewalks, steps and other walkways clear of ice at all times.
Repair Steps and Guardrails. Check your steps for large cracks caused by weather changes and check your guardrails for stability. Steps are high-traffic areas of your property that can become very dangerous if not properly maintained.
Prevent Ice Dams. Ice dams build up around the roof and gutters, preventing the flow of runoff. Over time, they can cause leaks in roofs and ceilings that can eventually lead to mold and mildew. This can make you sick and can cause health problems not only for your family, but also for holiday guests. Be sure to keep gutters and drains clear of debris to prevent ice dams.
If someone has been injured on your property due to your negligence, you could be held liable for damages. If you’ve been the victim of someone’s negligence, consult a personal injury attorney to find out your rights today.