Glenn Herman a New York City slip and fall accident attorney discusses the dangers of walking on snowy and icy streets and sidewalks and climbing snowy and icy stairs during NYC winters.
As we face yet another New York winter filled with snowstorms and cold temperatures, it is a good time to consider the safety rules that property and business owners are required to comply with to prevent injuries to pedestrians occurring on the streets, sidewalks, steps and stairways of New York City. There are many reasons why every winter there is an increase in trip slip and fall Injuries in NYC. Glenn Herman an NYC slip and fall lawyer educates New Yorkers on how to understand how injuries occur and how they could be avoided, and what to do if a slip and fall accident happens. Failing to comply with the applicable safety rules that keep people safe can result in those property and business owners being responsible for injuries that happened on and adjacent to their premises.
Lawyer Resource on New York City Slip and Fall Accidents
Every year freezing weather in NYC leads to a rise in trip, slip and fall injuries. A large number of New Yorkers who were injured by slipping on snowy and icy streets and sidewalks or ascending and descending snow covered and ice covered stairs have been entitled to compensation from their injury claims.
In NYC, the laws that govern personal injury cases are quite complex. If you have suffered an injury that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should consult a New York City slip and fall accident lawyer and personal injury attorney at the law firm of Herman & Herman PC. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if the injury you suffered as a result of a negligent third party trip, slip and fall is worthy and has merit to be filed as a claim and potentially put into a lawsuit. As personal injury lawyers in NYC, we are familiar with the relevant rules and regulations and also with workplace laws, and the different types of insurance required to protect individuals who may become victims of a slip and fall accident.
Who is responsible for slip and fall injuries?
Wintertime slip, trip and fall accidents often happen when property and business owners fail to remove the snow and ice on the sidewalks and stairs outside their premises. Most injuries occur not because the victim was not paying attention. Rather, the property or business owner who is, or should be aware, that a snow and ice condition exists, chooses not to remedy or remove the hazard.
Winter slip and fall cases in NYC fall under a broad category known as ‘premises liability’. Under this area of law, property owners and businesses are responsible to provide a safe environment and if they fail to do so, and someone is injured as a consequence, they may be held liable for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and in certain cases future economic damages in the severest of cases.
As per NYC laws, property and business owners of all kinds are legally obligated to take proper precautions with slippery stairs or walkways, otherwise serious injuries are inevitable! In NYC, the laws that govern snow and ice personal injury cases can be quite complex.
The New York City Administrative Code §16-123, entitled “Removal of snow, ice and dirt from sidewalks; property owners duties,” provides in part that:
a. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person, having charge of any building or lot of ground in the city, abutting upon any street where the sidewalk is paved, shall, within four hours after the snow ceases to fall, or after the deposit of any dirt or other material upon such sidewalk, remove the snow or ice, dirt, or other material from the sidewalk and gutter, the time between nine post meridian and seven ante meridian not being included in the above period of four hours. Such removal shall be made before the removal of snow or ice from the roadway by the commissioner or subject to the regulations of such commissioner. In the boroughs of Queens and Staten Island, any owner, lessee, tenant or occupant or other person who has charge of any ground abutting upon any paved street or public place, for a linear distance of five hundred feet or more, shall be considered to have complied with this section, if such person shall have begun to remove the snow or ice from the sidewalk and gutter before the expiration of such four hours and shall continue and complete such removal within a reasonable time.
b. In case the snow and ice on the sidewalk shall be frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the pavement, the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground as aforesaid, may, within the time specified in the preceding subdivision, cause the sidewalk abutting on such premises to be strewed with ashes, sand, sawdust, or some similar suitable material, and shall, as soon thereafter as the weather shall permit, thoroughly clean such sidewalks.
The above regulation applies to public sidewalks and walkways. If your injury occurs on private property, including parking lots, often different legal standards apply that require snow and ice to be removed or remedied within a reasonable time after a snowfall has ceased.
Moreover, if your fall occurs on a public sidewalk or on public (City owned) property, or on property owned or used by public agencies such as The New York City Transit Authority, The MTA, Long Island Rail Road, The Metro North RailRoad, New Jersey Transit or other such property, certain rules apply that require a claim to made a short time after your injury. In most cases, a Notice of Claim must be filed against the responsible parties within 90 days. Accordingly, in such cases, legal advice should be sought immediately.
Pedestrians should also be aware that the “storm in progress” rule will often prevent business and property owners from being responsible for injuries that occur while snow or freezing rain is falling. The rationale for this is that a property owner is not able to keep the premises safe while the storm is occurring. Of course, as with most legal rules, there are exceptions that should be explored on a case by case basis.
During winter months, even when no snow or ice has fallen, pedestrians can be injured because of hidden hazards because of dangerous conditions that property owners failed to correct.
Among the hidden hazards or dangerous conditions that can lead to valid slip and fall claims are;
Unsafe stairways or steps
Hidden drop-offs or holes
Improperly secured floor mats
Improper or no handrails
The above list is by no means exhaustive and many people have suffered disabling injuries from all types of unsafe conditions that exist on property, both private and public.
What to do if you have had a slip and fall injury.
In the United States, typically up to half of all sidewalks remain unclear after a snowfall, and of those hospitalized for pedestrian-related injuries, almost 30% are caused by icy surfaces. These wounds included broken bones, shattered hips, back injuries, and in the most extreme cases fatalities may occur.
Usually, minor injuries such as small cuts and bruises are unlikely to merit compensation, however, the injury that causes large amounts of pain to the victim and prevents them from working for a period of time is far more likely to lead to a successful bodily injury claim.
The first thing to do is call for help. If you are unable to call for help or do not have a cell phone, ask anyone nearby to call 911. First and foremost, seek the medical attention you need. If you are able to take photos of the condition that caused your fall. Whether it is snow or ice or some other condition. A photo of the condition will assist in often proving that a slip and fall was not your fault. If you are unable to photograph the condition, ask someone else at the scene or have a friend or family member return to the scene as soon as possible to take photographs. Obtain the name and contact information of any witnesses to your fall or people who saw the condition that caused your injury.
Even if you’re able to get up by yourself and believe you’re okay, it’s still a good idea to take photos and report the incident to the police as very often injuries develop hours laters.
When should you call a trusted personal injury attorney?
If you have suffered an injury that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should consult a New York City slip and fall accident lawyer and personal injury attorney at the law firm of Herman & Herman PC. Our experienced professionals can help you decide if the injury you suffered has merit to be filed as a claim and potentially put into a lawsuit. As personal injury lawyers in NYC, we are familiar with the legal requirements to bring a case on your behalf. Additionally, all calls and consultations are free of charge. A fee is only charged if your case is accepted and a recovery is made on your behalf.
With the representation of a New York personal injury attorney, you may be able to receive a significant monetary award as fair compensation and recovery for your trip, slip and fall injuries. Including, but not restricted to pain and suffering, loss of wages if you cannot work and your hospital and medical bills covered that you have incurred and economic damages in career ending cases.
We can help you determine if you have a case. The New York personal injury lawyer and attorneys of Herman & Herman have successfully represented slip and fall incident cases in New York. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, do not hesitate to find out how to stand up for your rights.
Our personal injury lawyers also offer a free initial consultation. Book your consultation online today to find more information or to get a free case evaluation. Get in touch with us at 718-590-5616; to find out how we can help you get the maximum injury compensation you’re entitled to!
"Manhattan Women Injured in Her Apartment by Contractors Jury Verdict $1,100,000. An 87 year old woman slipped and fell in her apartment on a plastic drop sheet left by contractors during renovation work. The client sustained a fracture to her hip requiring hip replacement surgery. A Bronx jury awarded the client the above amount for her pain and suffering."
"Westchester woman breaks ankle in a parking lot Settlement $350,000. a 45-year-old woman slipped and fell on an algae condition in a shopping center parking fracturing her ankle and requiring two surgeries. We determined that the algae was caused by runoff water from the lawn in front of a Chase bank and retained a safety expert to support this theory. The case settled during jury selection." Source [NYC Slip, Trip And Fall ( Premises Liability) Injuries]