Anyone who’s spent a full year of seasons in New York City understands how brutal the winters can be. Each year, at least one major winter storm hits the city and creates dangerous conditions for millions of people in the metropolitan area. These storms can close down schools and businesses, make driving conditions much more dangerous, and create slip and fall hazards for the millions of pedestrians who walk through our city’s streets every day.
As part of the privilege of living in such a bustling and vibrant city, New Yorkers owe it to each other to do their part to reduce these hazards as much as possible. After a winter storm moves through the city, municipal workers salt the roads in order to melt ice and snow and make vehicle transportation safer. When ice and snow make the sidewalks outside of a home or business dangerously slippery, it’s usually the property owner’s responsibility to address the hazard in a timely manner before any passersby slip, fall, and injure themselves.
How Serious Are Slip And Fall Injuries?
Each year, thousands of New Yorkers are treated in emergency rooms for serious injuries after falling on ice and snow. In some cases, these injuries are severe enough to cause permanent disabilities. Some of the most common injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chronic back and neck pain
- Broken bones and sprains
- Ligament damage
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts, lacerations, and scarring
Some slip and fall injuries may have symptoms which take a long time to develop. Regardless of how much pain you’re in, it’s important to visit a doctor as soon as possible following one of these accidents. Prompt medical treatment can help prevent your condition from worsening over time and ensure you begin recovering as soon as possible.
Who Is Responsible For Clearing Sidewalks Of Ice And Snow In NYC?
In the Bronx and throughout New York City, property owners are responsible for keeping all aspects of their properties safe and free of hazards which could cause accidents and injuries. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on ice or snow, either a private property owner, the city, or the state could be responsible for failing to remove the ice and snow. Determining liable parties is a complicated process which usually requires the assistance of an experienced Bronx personal injury lawyer.
In New York City, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of ice and snow within the following timeframes:
- If snowfall ends between 7 AM and 5 PM, sidewalks must be cleared within 4 hours.
- If snowfall ends between 5 PM and 9 PM, sidewalks must be cleared within 14 hours.
- If snowfall ends between 9 PM and 7 AM, sidewalks must be cleared by 11 AM.
In many cases, even sidewalks owned by the city or state are the responsibility of an “abutting landowner” – or the property owner with a home or business closest to the sidewalk. This is good news for the victims of slip and fall accidents, as lawsuits against private parties are generally easier to win than lawsuits against the government.
In most of these cases, you’ll also be dealing with the property owner’s insurance company. These companies employ teams of skilled lawyers, claims adjusters, and other professionals who specialize in finding ways to discredit claims and avoid liability. In order to build a successful case and deal with these insurance companies, it’s important to find a lawyer with a track record of helping victims of New York City slip and fall accidents file successful lawsuits.
Do I Have Grounds For A Slip & Fall Lawsuit?
In order to have grounds for a lawsuit after being injured in a slip and fall accident, you and your lawyer must prove three things:
- You were legally on the property and not trespassing
- The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition, but failed to address it or provide a warning for guests
- Your injuries were a direct result of your slip and fall accident
Proving these criteria in court requires the collection of detailed evidence, including photos of the dangerous condition, medical records from your injury treatment, and witness testimony from people who were present during your accident. An experienced Bronx slip and fall lawyer can gather this evidence for you and present it to the jury on your behalf.
How Can A Lawsuit Help?
Slip and fall accidents often result in severe injuries which require expensive medical treatment, missed time from work, and disruptions to the quality of the injury victim’s personal life. No victim of a preventable slip and fall accident should be forced to deal with these difficulties on their own. Our personal injury lawyers can help you hold a negligent property owner liable for all damages related to your accident, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
If you reach a settlement or the jury rules in your favor, the amount of financial compensation you’re awarded will be based on both the direct financial costs of your injury, along with subjective damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you secure the full financial compensation you deserve by taking into account all of the various difficulties you’re facing as a result of your injuries. To find out more about filing a personal injury lawsuit for slip and fall injuries, contact us today for a free consultation.