New York Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Discuss Snow and Ice Falls
Always remember to wear sturdy shoes with good traction when there’s snow or ice on the ground or in the forecast explains one of the New York slip and fall accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm in Brooklyn. Too many New Yorkers regularly slip and fall on nearly invisible sheets of ice or slushy snow as they travel to work or run errands each day. It’s also wise to make sure your office building places proper mats in front of entrance doors and just inside so you won’t suddenly fall on a slick surface with wet shoes.
If you do fall, can you ever hold the building landlord liable for your injuries? The answer to that question is nearly always “Yes.” New York law holds property owners liable for the serious injuries pedestrians suffer while walking across the sidewalks leading into their buildings. This duty includes being responsible for clearing away excess snow and ice.
Learning more below about the duties of New York property ownership can help you better understand when a landlord should be held liable for your injuries.
Landlord Liability for Slip-and-Fall Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice
In general, landlords are expected to start clearing away hazardous snow and ice within four hours of it falling (or forming) on the ground. Such efforts must be completed in a relatively short amount of time. As your New York City slip and fall attorney will tell you, if you’re personally injured due to excess snow or ice surrounding a building, the landlord will often be held liable if:
- There’s been an unjustified time delay. Pedestrians should never have to wait very long for the snow and ice to be removed. Whenever possible, landlords should also supply appropriate handrails near steps to help people steady themselves;
- An improper or very faulty job was done in removing the icy or wet condition. Simply shoveling snow or ice to the side – that soon shifts or covers the area again, does not count as properly maintaining the sidewalks;
- There’s major water run-off from the roof, creating an icy hazard on the ground. Too many people have been seriously injured on snow-covered sidewalks that have large icy patches hidden underneath due to frozen run-off forming;
- Improperly graded or sloped sidewalk areas. While these were more common long ago, you can still come across them around older buildings. They often allow large accumulations of ice to form that are hidden by falling snow;
- An entryway is covered by a full saturated, wet rug – or no rug at all. Too many landlords keep forgetting how easy it is for people to slip and fall upon entering a building lobby with marble-like, slick floors when it’s wet outside.
Have a Photo Taken of the Dangerous Conditions After You’re Injured
Whenever possible, try to take a cell phone photo of the area after any serious fall (or ask a companion to handle this for you). That way, if you have suffered a broken leg, hip or arm on a building’s wet surface, you’ll have date-stamped proof of the condition that contributed to your accident. Although we can always still pursue your case without such a picture – having date-stamped photos can help us win your case.
Far too often, after building employees witness (or learn about) an accident, a landlord will insist that corrective actions be taken to remove all signs of poor maintenance. Photos (and sympathetic witnesses) can help prove the degree of negligence present.
Don’t Sign Any Type of Statement Right After Your Accident
Should you still be able to walk or limp inside, remember to never sign any type of document for a building employee in which you describe the accident or the harm you’ve suffered. After all, if a building agent is calling an ambulance for you and is handing you a warm cup of coffee, you may feel obliged to downplay what happened – even when your injuries are rather severe.
Our New York City slip and fall attorneys have the experience necessary to evaluate your case properly and help you hold the negligent parties fully liable for your injuries. We’ll help you obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and any pain and suffering fees allowed by law.