New York winters bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. Snow and ice accumulation on outdoor stairs, driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots are common causes of slip and fall accidents. Property owners have a legal obligation to address hazards caused by inclement weather that could cause foreseeable accidents or injury.
If you or a loved one were hurt, there might be options for legal recourse. A knowledgeable New York slip and fall attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine if you have a valid claim for compensation. Leveraging more than fifty years of experience in NYC, Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. stand prepared to help you seek the justice you deserve. Protect your rights by scheduling a free consultation with a New York ice and snow slip and fall accident lawyer today.
Slip and fall on ice or snow: Who is liable?
The NYC Administrative Code outlines responsibilities for property owners and managers for snow and ice removal from sidewalks adjacent to their properties. The following timeframes apply:
- Snow and ice must be cleared within four hours when snow ceases to fall between 7 am and 5 pm
- Property owners have 14 hours to remove the ice and snow if the snowfall stops between 5 pm and 9 pm
- If ice is too difficult to clear, rock salt, sawdust, or sand must be applied to make it less slippery
This window of time for cleaning ice and snow can vary depending on the municipality. In addition, property owners and managers are required to ensure that interior floors are kept dry. If guests or patrons are tracking in snow, this must be cleaned up to prevent a wet floor slip and fall accident. If the slick surface is not addressed promptly, a sign must be visible to alert visitors of potential dangers.
Property owners are also responsible for clearing access to their own parking lots, driveways, and entrances and are prohibited from dumping snow on city streets, which can endanger others.
Why are slip and fall on snowaccidents so dangerous?
According to CDC statistics, approximately one million Americans are injured yearly. Furthermore, falling on snow or ice is responsible for 17,000 deaths annually in the U.S. and is particularly dangerous for the elderly and pregnant women.
These accidents can produce serious bodily harm requiring urgent medical care and, in some cases, surgery and physical rehabilitation. Some of the most prevalent injuries from slips, trips, and falls on ice and snow include:
- Ligament strains and tears
- Bone fractures of the wrist, hands, arms, and hips
- Ruptured and herniated discs of the lumbar spine
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injury
- Bruises and lacerations
- Spinal compression fractures
What to do if you fall on ice or snow
A slip and fall on iceor snow can be dangerous. Take the following steps to ensure your health and legal rights are protected if injuries are sustained:
- Inform the property owner or manager of the slip and fall accident
- Get medical treatment and ensure your injuries are documented
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Take photos of the ice or hazard where you fell
- Keep the shoes worn that day, as they may be used as evidence
- Explore your rights with a reputable premises liability lawyer
Slip and fall legal representation in New York City
The laws concerning slip and fall accidents on ice and snow can be complex. Your attorney must prove several elements to establish liability and recover fair monetary damages for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. These injury claims are time-sensitive, so it’s important to contact us at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green as soon as possible to discuss your rights. Call today to schedule a free consultation.