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Wet Leaves on Your Driveway and Sidewalk: Are They Really That Dangerous?

Nov 8th, 2022

Autumn leaves can be truly beautiful—both on the trees and as they fall to the ground. But they aren’t without risk. It may evoke feelings of nostalgia to see the fallen leaves strewn across your driveway and sidewalk, but once it rains, those leaves can become a real danger, both to you and to anyone who visits you or walks in front of your home. Leaves on roadways can pose serious risks for drivers, as well. Let’s discuss some reasons why those wet leaves are potentially dangerous.

Leaves Are Slippery When Wet

Numerous experts suggest that wet leaves can be as dangerous as black ice, creating a real hazard for anyone walking (or driving) on them. This is especially true if the leaves cover hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Even if you’re just walking from your car to your front door, you could easily slip and fall on wet leaves. So can any visitor to your home.

Leaves Can Cover Other Obstacles

In addition to being slippery, wet leaves can also obscure other potential hazards on your walkway or driveway. If there are any cracks, holes, raised areas, or other obstacles, they may be hidden by the leaves and can cause you or someone else to trip. This is yet another reason to clear wet leaves away from these areas as soon as possible.

Leaves Can Cause Flooding

Fallen leaves have a propensity for clogging gutters and drains. During heavy rains, water can quickly start ponding on the roadways and sidewalks instead of draining away, leading to flooding. Not only is this a potential hazard for anyone walking or driving in the area, but it can also damage your property. (Leaves can also clog your gutters and lead to water damage in your home.)

Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Wet Leaves?

In most cases, whoever owns a piece of property or is responsible for upkeep has a duty of care to keep the area safe and protect people from slip-and-fall accidents. This includes keeping walkways and driveways free of perils such as snow, ice, and wet leaves. If you allow leaves to accumulate on these surfaces and someone falls as a result, you could be held liable for their injuries. Conversely, if wet leaves cause you to fall and become injured on someone else’s property (or on the walkway in front of a store, for example), the person responsible for keeping that area clean may be liable for damages.

Proving liability in accidents involving wet leaves can be complicated because there may be other factors involved—which is why you should hire a skilled personal injury attorney to help you if you’ve had a slip-and-fall injury accident. Our law firm has plenty of experience with cases such as these. Call our offices to schedule a consultation.