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Premises Liability / Slip & FallApril 09, 2018

Look Out for Lingering Winter Slip-and-Fall Accidents

With nearly 10 million residents and countless cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles buzzing around, walking in New York City is always hazardous. But combined with lingering winter weather, the danger to pedestrians increases quite a bit. Rain, sleet, snow, and ice on streets and sidewalks make slip-and-fall accidents much more likely during the winter months (and early spring months). In addition, water and snow brought in on people’s feet can make indoor floors much more slippery.

When people slip and fall, they may believe it’s their fault for being clumsy; or they may be embarrassed and not want to tell anyone.

But the fact is, there are many occasions when a slip-and-fall is unavoidable and it’s not your fault. Business owners, as well as municipalities, have a responsibility to keep streets, sidewalks, and floors reasonably safe for the public. If they allow a hazardous situation such as an icy sidewalk or a slippery floor to exist, they can be held liable for any injuries caused by that hazardous situation.

It’s not just business owners and municipalities that are obligated by law to keep public areas like sidewalks free of snow, ice, and slippery surfaces—private property owners have a responsibility to do the same. According to the New York City Department of Sanitation, “every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any lot or building must clean snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent (i.e., in front of, on the side of, in back of) to their properties.”

As for how long the responsible party has to clean a sidewalk, the Department of Sanitation offers this guideline:

  • If the snow stops falling between 7:00 a.m. and 4:49 p.m., you must clear the snow within 4 hours.
  • If the snow stops falling between 5:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., you must clear the snow within 14 hours.
  • If the snow stops falling between 9:00 p.m. and 6:59 a.m., you must clear by 11:00 a.m. the next day.

COMMON SLIP-AND-FALL INJURIES

While many property owners think that slip-and-fall accidents aren’t serious, they can certainly result in serious, and sometimes permanent, injuries:

  • Severe cuts and bruises
  • Joint, ligament, and other soft tissue damage
  • Broken and shattered bones
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries

The cost of treating these injuries can be astronomical, which is why you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask the property owner if he or she has insurance to cover your slip-and-fall injuries.

COMPENSATION FOR SLIP-AND-FALL INJURIES

If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you could be entitled for compensation for the following:

  • Current medical bills
  • Future medical bills resulting from your injury
  • Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Lost wages from missed work
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Hedonic damages for loss of joy of life
  • Punitive damages

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, it’s likely that you will be dealing with the responsible party’s insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to get injury victims to accept payouts that are far less than what they need to cover their losses and expenses. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, let the experienced New York City slip-and-fall attorneys at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP take your case. Call us at 929-223-4195 for a free case evaluation with attorney Adam Handler (The Case Handler team) today.

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