Snow and Ice Premises Liability
February 9, 2016 | Personal Injury
Slip and fall accidents do not just occur inside in restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores. As we all know, sometimes the most treacherous places to walk are sidewalks after a snowstorm. The winter months are of course the most tricky when navigating the sidewalks of New York, and thousands of people are injured in falls every year. Nationally, millions of people seek emergency room treatment, 2.5 million according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. In the weeks of heavy snowfall and the ice that can sometimes last for days or weeks afterwards, some doctors end up treating almost four times as many people for falls than during normal months, according to the New York Times. While there are times when the fall is no one’s fault other than the weather and the victim, there are laws that require business owners to remove snow (or ice) after a certain period of time once the storm has ended. Removing snow is especially important after a big storm so that the snow does not have a chance to melt, refreeze, and make the sidewalks akin to a skating rink. If you have been injured from falling on an icy or snowy sidewalk, you may be owed compensation for your injury. To discuss your legal options, contact an experienced New York premises liability attorney today.
Laws Regarding Snow and Ice Removal in New York City
Only in certain circumstances can a party be held liable for causing an injury from slipping and falling on snow or ice. The party that will most likely be held liable is the business owner or property owner, who has an obligation to ensure sidewalk safety for those who pass by their storefront or home. They also must clear snow and ice near bus stops and fire hydrants. However, the business owner or property owner does not have an obligation to clear the sidewalk while it is currently snowing. The following are New York City’s snow and ice removal requirements, according to nyc.gov:
- If the snowfall ends between 7 am and 5 pm, the sidewalks have to be cleared within four hours
- If the snowfall ends between 5 pm and 9 pm, the sidewalks have to be cleared within 14 hours and
- If the snowfall ends between 9 pm and 7 am, the sidewalks have to be cleared by 11 am
Business and property owners may receive a summons if they fail to clear the sidewalks within the appropriate amount of time. In addition to the above timeframes, complaints can be made at any time if the snow or ice is in front of public property, including schools, on public park paths, in front of police stations, and in and around bus stop shelters.
Napoli Shkolnik is Here to Answer Your Questions and Seek out the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a loved one have taken a bad fall and become injured because a business or property owner failed to clear snow or ice from the sidewalk, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced New York slip and fall attorneys from the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000.