This has been a weird winter. Actually, icy winters are becoming more common in Minnesota as we tend to see some more varied temperatures. Take for example last week when we saw temperatures soar into the 40s. The false spring brings melting snow and then when it gets cold again it all turns to glare ice.

My sidewalk was so bad yesterday that I had to go out to the hardware store and buy snow melt and an ice chipper. I was worried about the mailman slipping and falling and hurting themselves. It was really slippery! Then, as I was laying down the salt, a UPS driver pulled up to our house to bring one of my wife's many online shopping orders.

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So I asked myself the question, "what would happen if someone got hurt falling on my slippery sidewalk?" Could you be sued? I did some searches and found a pretty universal answer: yeah, you actually can be if found negligent. 

Workman's Compensation

If a postal worker or delivery driver falls and hurts themself on your sidewalk, their employer is responsible for paying the workman's compensation. However, if the company feels that you were negligent and believes you are liable for damages, they could sue you for damages.

What about my homeowner's insurance?

Fortunately, if you have a homeowners policy it usually is covered. I spoke with Charlie Johnson from Holden Insurance and he said that it's covered under personal liability. He also pointed out that in most cases workmans compensation would be sufficient, but it has happened where the company may try to prove you were negligent or liable for the injury. Proving that could be difficult though. Days like yesterday, when the streets and sidewalks all around town were covered with ice, would be hard to find anyone liable.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.


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