What to do if you fall on snow or ice
If you fall due to snow or ice, you may be able to bring a successful lawsuit to recover money damages. The important factors to consider are
1. Where did you fall? Certain areas are actionable under the law while other areas are more difficult or even impossible. For example, someone who fell on a sidewalk in front of a commercial premises on a Wed when it last snowed on a Sun may have a strong case because the landlord/ management should have cleaned the snow or ice in the 2-3 day time window. However, someone who fell on a roadway while crossing in the middle of the street will have a much more difficult case. Under the NYC Adm. Code 7-210, a property owner is responsible for a defective public sidewalk adjoining his or her property. This means that snow or ice in front of a property is actionable against the owner and owners of property are required to maintain insurance coverage. The only exception is an owner occupied one, two, or three family dwelling in which case the lawsuit would be against The City of New York.
2. When did you fall? Falling at a time when snow is still falling from the sky usually precludes a lawsuit. There is a storm in progress doctrine which basically states – “you don’t have to clean up the snow or ice if it is still falling from the sky” because even if you do a great job of cleaning and throwing down salt, more snow will just come down in the next few minutes. NYC Adm. Code has a 4 hour rule which requires landlords to clean up the snow within 4 hours of the time when it has stopped snowing. This law can be used affirmatively to establish negligence on behalf of injured individuals.
3. What to do if you fell?
-Photograph the snow/ice that caused you to fall.
-Call an Ambulance right away and go to the hospital if you feel pain. Better to be safe than sorry.
-Contact an attorney so they can do a complete and full investigation which may include weather experts, engineers, photographs, measurements, and other valuable insights.
-Go to a good medical doctor for your injuries to continue your treatment after the hospital.
Frekhtman & Associates, New York Accident & Injury Lawyers, (866) ATTY LAW or https://866attylaw.com