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Who is Liable if I Slip on Snow or Ice?

Winter weather in New York can be harsh. Snow, sleet and freezing rain can accumulate in a matter of minutes leading to icy and slippery conditions. If it is not removed in a reasonable amount of time, snow and ice on walkways and sidewalks can cause slip and fall accidents that result in serious injuries.

In many cases, snow and ice slip and falls can be avoided if a property owner or occupant takes measures to make sure the walkway or sidewalk is clear. If they fail to remove snow or ice in a reasonable amount of time and it causes injury to someone on their property, the owner, occupant, or another responsible party may be found negligent.

Responsibility of Owners, Occupants & Others to Remove Snow
Some towns and cities have laws concerning snow and ice removal. For example, the New York City Administrative Code § 16-123 contains specific regulations for who is responsible for the removal and imposes fines for noncompliance. The code places a duty to remove snow, ice, and dirt on:

  • Owners
  • Lessees
  • Tenants
  • Occupants
  • Other persons having charge of a building

The code also specifies the amount of time the responsible party has to remedy the snowy or icy condition. Snow, ice, and dirt generally must be removed within four hours after the storm has stopped, if the condition occurred between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If the snow fell between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., the responsible person has 14 hours to remove it.

Many towns and villages in Nassau and Suffolk counties have their own specific laws concerning snow removal. These local ordinances also may specify the responsible parties and time frames in which the snow must be cleared.

Documenting Your Snow & Ice Slip and Fall Accident
If you fell on snow or ice, you should seek medical assistance immediately. In some cases, injuries may not be apparent until days later. This is why it is important to get a full examination by a doctor who can determine what course of treatment you may require.

Treatment for slip and fall injuries can require hospitalization, office visits, physical therapy, and even surgery. Keep a detailed list of your doctor visits, bills and records, and any out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. In addition to caring for your health, medical documentation is very important to your legal case to prove your injury.

Photographs and eye witness accounts may also help your case. If possible, take photos of the location where the slip and fall occurred. If there were any witnesses, try to obtain their contact information. Any kind of witness account or photographic evidence may later be used to demonstrate negligence.

Contact an Experienced Snow and Ice Slip & Fall Attorney
If you were injured in a snow or ice slip and fall accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. There are strict statutes of limitations that begin running from the day of the accident and much shorter ones if a claim should be brought against a city or municipality. An experienced attorney can advise you of your legal rights and recourse and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.

The Popick Law Firm has over thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of slip and fall accidents. Located in Fresh Meadows, NY, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury and snow and ice slip and fall cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact The Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.