People slip and fall on icy and snowy surfaces all of the time during the winter in New York City. Not all of these falls are random or unavoidable “accidents.” Many falls occur because those who own or control property fail to timely clear ice and snow from their premises, including adjoining sidewalks. In some cases, the property owner or manager does something to create the unsafe condition that leads to the slip and fall such as diverting water from a gutter onto a walkway which later freezes.
At Zlotolow & Associates, P.C., our legal team works hard to hold negligent property owners and managers accountable for the harm they cause to others. For more than two decades, our attorneys and staff have aggressively protected the rights of New York City personal injury victims and their families and pursued maximum compensation for them. We are ready to help you, too.
If you recently slipped and fell due to icy or snowy conditions on another person’s property or on a sidewalk adjoining the property, contact us today. We will review your rights and all of your legal options in a free, no-obligation consultation. If we pursue a claim on your behalf, you will pay no legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Who Has a Duty to Clear Ice and Snow in New York City?
Under New York law, the people or entities that own, lease, occupy or otherwise control property have a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner. Generally, if the property owner or manager creates a dangerous condition on the property, and their actions cause another person to suffer injuries, the owner or manager can be held liable in a personal injury claim.
The owner or manager may also face liability if the owner or manager knew or reasonably should have known of an unsafe condition and failed to fix it. In those cases, you must establish how long the dangerous condition existed and whether the owner or manager had a reasonable amount of time to discover and address the condition.
If the condition is ice or snow that has accumulated during a storm in a walking area such as a sidewalk, driveway or parking lot, the property owner or manager must remove the ice or snow within a reasonable period of time after the storm ends. Additionally, if the owner or manager tries to remove the ice or snow, those efforts cannot make the hazard worse. For example, the owner or manager may leave a pile of snow in a parking lot. The snow may melt and then freeze at night, causing dangerous “black ice” to form.
Under New York City Administrative Code § 16-123, property owner and managers generally must remove ice and snow from the sidewalks that adjoin their property within four hours after the snow stops falling. However, this four-hour period does not apply between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. If the ice and snow are frozen so hard that the owner or manager cannot remove it without damaging the pavement, then they must spread ashes, sand, sawdust or “some similar suitable material” and clean the sidewalk as soon as the weather permits.
What Steps Should You Take After a Fall on Snow or Ice?
If you recently slipped and fell on ice or snow in New York City due to a property owner’s or manager’s failure to meet the duties we outlined above, then you may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and more. As you move forward, you should take the following steps to protect your right to compensation:
- Gather evidence. Before the ice or snow melts or gets removed, you should try to take photos of the area where the slip and fall occurred. You should also try to get the names of anyone who witnessed the incident. Keep all hospital bills, receipts of slip and fall-related expenses and insurance company correspondence as well.
- Focus on your health. A fall on snow or ice can leave you with serious injuries, including fractures, head and brain injuries, back and spine injuries and soft tissue damage such as a torn ligament. You should see a doctor and get treatment as early as possible. Follow your doctor’s orders and make sure to keep all of your appointments. You should also keep a journal that documents your recovery.
- Get legal help. You generally have three years from the date of an accident in which to file a slip and fall claim in New York. If the party whose negligence caused your slip and fall is a government entity, you will need to file a notice of claim within 90 days. For these reasons, you should not delay getting help from an experienced lawyer. If you miss a deadline, you may lose your right to recover compensation.
How Can Our Lawyers Help after a Slip and Fall on Snow or Ice?
At Zlotolow & Associates, we understand the pressures that people face after they suffer a slip and fall on ice or snow in New York City through no fault of their own. We can take the burdens off your shoulders by:
- Managing all aspects of your case. We will handle all communication with the insurance company, so you will not be hounded while you are trying to heal. We can also help you to manage your doctor’s bills or time missed from the job while your case is being resolved.
- Pursuing maximum compensation for you. We will conduct a thorough investigation of your slip and fall, calculate and document your losses and demand compensation on your behalf from the insurance company. Although we often reach settlements for our clients, we will never pressure you into accepting the insurer’s offer. We will take our cues from you and be prepared to take your case to trial.
- Keeping you in the loop at all times. From the start, we will clearly explain to you how the slip and fall claims process works. Throughout your case, we will always be available to answer your questions and provide updates.
You can expect that the property owner or manager, through insurance company lawyers, will challenge liability and/or the amount that you seek in compensation. For instance, the insurer may claim that you should have seen and avoided the snow or ice hazard that caused your accident. You can count on Zlotolow & Associates to vigorously protect your rights, stand up to the insurance company and fight for all compensation you are due.
Get Help from Our NYC Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
Contact the slip and fall lawyers at Zlotolow & Associates to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your slip and fall on ice or snow. We work with clients throughout the five boroughs and Long Island. We can review your case today and help you to explore all of your legal options. Call or reach us online now to get started.