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Man Shoveling Snow on His Property

Break Out the Snow Shovels

Man Shoveling Snow on His Property

The Law Office of Gonzales & Poirier would like to remind Flagstaff residents that they must remove snow from sidewalks bordering their property or face a city fine.

This week Flagstaff is getting more than just a dusting of snow, by the end of the week Flagstaff could receive up to 8-12 inches of snow. We just want to remind homeowners and business owners that the City of Flagstaff requires you to shovel your sidewalk within 24 hours or else you could face fines and cost of removal.

It’s Snowing, Do You Know Where Your Snow Shovel Is?

In early October we have written a previous blog post concerning premises liability and just want to remind people to shovel their sidewalks. The City of Flagstaff Ordinance 8-03-001-0004 requires the removal of snow, ice, dirt or obstructions from sidewalks bordering your building by the owner, occupant or tenant within 24 hours. Failure to abide by the City Ordinance could result in a criminal citation and a bill for the cost of removing the snow. The City Ordinance is clear in stating that businesses and residents have a duty to clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of a snow storm.

If the City of Flagstaff Ordinance was not enough incentive to break out the shovel and clear your sidewalk, Arizona’s law on premise liability might convince you to think otherwise. A business owner could face additional liability for failing to clear their sidewalks and parking lots if one of their customers happens to slip and fall while trying to navigate a snowy sidewalk. Arizona’s premise liability law could make a business owner liable for slip and fall injuries. Arizona courts have found that a business owner “only owes a duty to exercise reasonable care to his invitees.” Walker v. Montgomery Ward, 20 Ariz. App. 255, 258 (1973). This means the premise owner has a duty to discover, correct and warn of hazards which the premise owner can reasonably foresee as endangering an invitee. See, Markowitz v. Ariz. Parks, 145 Ariz. 352 (1985). A business owner has a duty to warn, correct and discover a dangerous condition if you caused it, had actual knowledge of it or you should have known about the dangerous condition. In most circumstances, a business owner who knowingly fails to shovel a snowy sidewalk would breach their duty of care as outlined above. Business owners need to be aware that they could be slipping down the slippery slope of a lawsuit if they fail to shovel their sidewalks this winter.

The best practice to observe when dealing with a snowy sidewalks is to be a good neighbor. Business owners and residents should shovel their sidewalks as soon as reasonably possible. If you rent a space and the owner is responsible for shoveling the snow and fails to do so, you should notify the owner but be prepared to break out the parka and the shovel. Under the city ordinance both the landlord and tenant are responsible for the sidewalk. If someone slips and falls, the injured party will most likely sue the landlord and tenant and let the attorneys figure out their liability. Finally, you should shovel your sidewalk because it just makes good business sense. In today’s economy why make it more tough to get that customer in the door because the customer is too scared to walk in your door?

If you have questions or concerns about premises liability or you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 and ask to speak with Tony or Daniel or visit our website. If you have been injured in an accident you have rights and you should contact an attorney before you speak with the insurance company. Our firm has two locations and if you have been severely injured we will visit you at your home.

Shady Discount Lawyer

Should I Pay My Accident Attorney a Contingency Fee of 25%?

Shady Discount Lawyer

With just about everything in life, you get what you pay for, and legal services are no different. Don’t settle for less by paying less! Your future could depend on it.

You have seen the ads for discount accident attorneys. These attorneys tell you that you should never pay a charge of one-third or more to an attorney to handle your accident case. While it is true that in our present market, lawyers are able to charge any price to handle your accident case. However, paying less is not always better.

The price of an attorney’s services is dependent upon how much time and effort they put into a personal injury case. If you believe this, then paying a lawyer 25% may not get you the same legal effort as a firm that charges 33% or 40%.
The fact remains that working on an accident case is not a simple process. Lawyers invest several hours of their own time and their staff’s time in putting together a case that is ready for settlement or trial. Insurance companies do not want to pay you any money. That’s why you need to make sure you have a lawyer working hard for you.

You can pay a lawyer any amount you want. But if you want to make sure that you will receive the best settlement, pay your attorney for their time and effort.

The lawyers at Gonzales and Poirier have successfully represented hundreds of clients in personal injury cases. Each case is handled with extraordinary care. The client’s interests are priority, not the lawyers. We almost always cut our fee to make sure you receive as much money as possible in any settlement. Otherwise, we want you to have a good experience. Our firm handles all types of accident cases such as automobile and motorcycle accidents, truck and bus accidents, slip & fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and other parts of the State. Please call us today if you have any questions at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, please email us at


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