Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, but winter is coming and New Yorkers need to be conscious of a new threat – snow and ice, and the multitude of slips and falls that come along with them. If you were in the City last winter, you may recall the ice storm, with brick-sized chunks falling from the sky and even larger pieces of ice breaking off trees and the overhangs of buildings.
The legal theory of premises liability holds that it is the obligation of a property owner to assure that his property is safe for visitors and passersby. Under New York Law, an owner of a commercial property or a residential property greater than three families or a one or two family residential property which is not owner occupied or is not used exclusively for residential purposes that abuts a sidewalk or street corner is liable for any injuries that occur as a result of their failure to:
Maintain the sidewalk in front of their property in a reasonably safe condition (this includes a duty to remove ice, dirt and other materials)
Assure that their parking lot, if they have one, is clear of snow and ice
Keep the entrances and exits to their buildings safe for residents and visitors
Since slipping on ice happens to nearly everyone at some time or another, the general perception is that the plaintiff is somehow at fault for the accident. It is therefore very difficult to prove these kinds of cases. The challenge is being able to distinguish when a slip and fall injury is — and when it is not — the result of a property owner’s negligence.
Slips and falls often result in serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head trauma. However, just because you fell on someone else’s property doesn’t automatically make them responsible to you. If you have been injured on the ice, contact our office to see if you have a case.
Posted in Personal Injury
Tagged personal injury attorneys, premises liability, slips and falls