New York is well into the winter months and that means that snow and ice are always possibilities. When it is snowing or there is ice on the roads or sidewalks, it means that pedestrians need to take extra precautions to avoid slipping. It is easy to slip on snow and when people fall on the hard sidewalks it can result in injuries such as sprains, broken bones and sometimes even more serious head and brain injuries.
To help prevent these types of falls, it is important that the sidewalks are cleared of the snow. This responsibility is the responsibility of the owners of the buildings next to the sidewalks.
Business owners’ responsibilities for removing snow
Building owners must clear sidewalks with a path at least four feet wide of snow and ice and it includes clearing the snow and ice off sidewalk cut outs if the building is on the corner. This must be done within four hours of the end of the snowfall if it falls between the hours of 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. It must be removed within 14 hours if it falls between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm and by 11:00 am if it stops falling between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am.
Building owners who do not remove snow and ice put pedestrians in danger. If people are injured on sidewalks which have not been properly cleared by the building owners, they may be held liable for the injuries. The victim may be entitled to compensation, which can help pay for medical bills and other damages that the victims may have suffered due to the fall.
Pedestrians in New York do need to be aware of the potential dangers when it is snowing or shortly thereafter. However, building and business owners also play a vital role in keeping pedestrians safe by properly clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their businesses. Experienced attorneys understand the dangers of slip and fall type accidents and they may be a useful resource.