Do you have to shovel that sidewalk? Cold weather legal questions answered

Do you have to shovel that sidewalk? Cold weather legal questions answered
Attorney Earl Ghaster of Kubyn & Ghaster in Mentor says that, according to Ohio law, you are under no obligation to shovel your sidewalks although, you may want to check with your city ordinances to make sure you won't be fined. If you use that remote start on your car, make sure your doors are locked or you could be cited.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Attorney Earl Ghaster, who specializes in personal injury law at Kubyn & Ghaster in Mentor, says that legally, you are under no obligation to shovel and treat your sidewalks.

Do you have to shovel that sidewalk? Cold weather legal questions answered

“The law in Ohio does not require a property owner to shovel driveways and sidewalks,” explained Ghaster.

Although, many cities do have their own ordinances on the books that may require you to shovel or face a fine.

There is one loophole that you need to be aware of, as a homeowner, which could make you vulnerable to a lawsuit should someone hurt themselves on your property due to the ice and snow and that has to do with any man made defect on your property.

“If you have a sidewalk that is not maintained where the slabs are irregular, it could cause a pooling effect where the ice and snow could accumulate to a larger degree. In those scenarios, a property owner might be liable,” added Ghaster.

New technology makes it possible to easily leave your car running with the doors locked without locking yourself out, but keep in mind, it's a minor misdemeanor if you do get caught using your remote start and leaving the car unlocked.

"It is permissible in Ohio to have your vehicle running, engine running - even though the car is unoccupied - provided the vehicle is locked," said Ghaster.

Do you have to shovel that sidewalk? Cold weather legal questions answered

The greater risk may be having your car stolen.

“I think that at this time of the year car, thieves are, no doubt, combing neighborhoods looking for just that scenario of a car running in a driveway or the side of the road unattended thinking, ‘this may be an easy catch,’” said Ghaster.

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