Can I Sue for a Slip and Fall Accident Caused by Snow and Ice?
New York winters are notoriously harsh, and often involve significant accumulations of snow and ice. Any New Yorker can tell you that these slick conditions are often dangerous and increase the risk of someone sustaining an injury in a slip and fall accident. While slipping and falling may sound trivial, these accidents sometimes result in serious injury that requires intensive medical treatment or care. When these accidents happen because of another’s negligence, people who experience a slip and fall may be able to recover compensation for the losses they may incur, such as medical bills or lost wages. Establishing negligence in a slip and fall accident where snow or ice was a factor can be a legally complicated issue. Thus, it is important for anyone who believes that they have a claim to retain the representation of a knowledgable White Plains personal injury attorney.
Generally speaking, a property owner or lessor can be held liable for injuries that occur due to a condition of which they knew or should have known of and failed to remedy. In some slip and fall cases, a property owner’s negligence can be fairly obvious. For example, if an individual slipped and injured themselves on a wet floor in a restaurant that had been noticed by an employee and not cleaned up, then a plaintiff could form a solid case. However, when dangerous conditions that are the result of weather or other natural processes come into play, the analysis can become more complicated. In such cases, the issue of whether the person or party responsible for the premises acted reasonably remains central.
As in other personal injury cases, the issue of “reasonableness” can be very fact sensitive. Questions that would be central to determining liability could include:
- Did the property owner remove snow or ice in a timely manner?
- Did the property owner salt walkways or driveways prior to the storm?
- Did the property owner inspect the sidewalk or parking lot during or after the storm?
- Did the injury occur during business hours?
One of the most common defenses raised in slip and fall cases involving snow or ice in New York is known as the “storm in progress” defense. New York law holds that a landowner’s obligation to take reasonable measures to correct dangerous conditions caused by the natural accumulation of snow or ice does not begin until after a storm has stopped. This defense has been expanded to include dangerous conditions inside a building during a storm, such as when guests or patrons bring snow or slush into a building lobby during a storm.
Establishing the reasonableness or unreasonableness of a property owner’s conduct during a snow storm be a very complicated issue. The assistance of a White Plains personal injury attorney can be invaluable in bringing your slip and fall case to a favorable resolution. Potential damages available in a slip and fall cases could include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life, among others. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced White Plains personal injury attorneys, call Lynch Schwab today at (914) 304-4353.
Posted on January 29, 2014 in Personal Injury