New York residents are all too familiar with the ice and snow that covers parking lots, sidewalks and entryways this time of year. No matter how careful you are while walking, there is a possibility that you could slip/trip and fall because of these conditions.
Some specific causes of wintertime slip-and-falls include:
- Melted ice or snow/puddles on entryway floors.
- Accumulations of ice or snow on steps or near entrance/exit.
- Potholes in parking lot filled with ice/slush.
- Lack of safety railings or poor lighting in stairways.
- Snow or ice covers uneven walking surface.
- Poorly salted walkways.
Slip-and-fall accident victims may file a claim for compensation against property owners based on the theory of negligence.
What is negligence?
Store owners and other property owners have a legal and moral obligation to take reasonable steps to clear the ice and snow from any area where a visitor may be walking. Failure to take appropriate action to prevent an accident is considered negligence. If this negligence causes an accident and injury to a legal visitor on the property, the property owner could be held liable for any damages that result.
Generally, to establish negligence after a slip-and-fall accident in New York, you will need bring your claim within three years of the incident. You will need to show that:
- You were legally on the property when the accident occurred.
- The property owner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition that caused your accident.
- The property owner did not take reasonable action to remedy the hazard or properly maintain their property.
- Your accident was caused by their negligence.
- You suffered injuries and damages in the accident.
People who have slipped and fallen on ice or snow often suffer severe injuries that require surgical intervention and long-term rehabilitative care. Negligent property owners who are found liable for their accidents may be required to cover medical expenses, lost wages and other costs relating to the accident.