Yes, winter will be with us for a while. Unfortunately, that means more slip and fall accidents, as a result of icy or snowy conditions. And when bad weather is combined with uneven or rough surfaces, the risk of pedestrian accidents multiples.
In New York state, property owners are responsible for keeping their public spaces reasonably clear, particularly after a snow or ice storm. However, “reasonably clear” leaves room for many interpretations. If you’re injured, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who will know the difference between natural hazards and those hazards caused by human negligence.
When It Snows In The City
Property owners in New York City including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, are legally obliged to clean away the ice and snow, once again, within a “reasonable amount of time.” That means, if the snow stops falling between 7am and 5pm, the owners must clean the area within 4 hours. Under some circumstances, the City of New York may be responsible for snow or ice removal.
If you are injured and you need to sue a municipality, keep in mind that you have a very short window of opportunity to bring a case to court. The New York statute of limitations in these cases expires in 90 days.
So, What If You Fall?
First things, first, if you are injured, you will beed medical treatment. Therefore, look around for someone to help you call an ambulance. If you are able, look around and take notice of the area where you fell, and take some pictures with your smartphone. You may need documented evidence of the hazard, and you are going to need photographs of the exact time that you fell, as weather conditions can change abruptly.
Also try to gather names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can support a case where the conditions presented risks to pedestrians. Just by talking to people around you, you may find out that area is consistently unsafe.
Finally . . .
Any time you have a slip and fall accident can be perilous, but when that accident happens in snow or ice, the injury could be more serious. No matter how well you might feel, some symptoms are delayed. Therefore, even if you can get up off the ground on your own, a trip to your PCP is a good idea.