In New York City, icy sidewalks are a common cause of dangerous slip and fall accidents every winter. Slipping and falling on icy sidewalks may seem like a common occurrence. However, victims of slip and fall accidents on icy sidewalks often require serious medical intervention, surgery, and medical treatment for years to come. Victims of slip and fall accidents may not know the severity of their injuries until a few days or even a week after an icy sidewalk accident. Many slip and fall victims experience chronic neck and back pain, and the side effects of whiplash months after the accident took place.
You Need an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you or your loved one have fallen on an icy sidewalk in New York City, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Attorney Michael J. Redenburg has successfully represented many New York clients who suffered injuries from slip and fall accidents. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation from the property owner. We will review your case and advise you as to your best legal options for obtaining compensation.
Proving Liability After an Icy Sidewalk Accident
The first step in recovering compensation is to prove liability. Under New York law, property owners have a legal duty to maintain their property, keeping it reasonably safe. This legal duty includes clearing the sidewalk or private road of snow and ice during the winter. New York City property owners must start clearing snow and ice within four hours of snowfall or freezing rain. Property owners are liable for any slip and fall accidents that happened on their icy sidewalks. As the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the property owner acted negligently. Some common examples of negligence among property owners include the following:
- Long-standing icy or slippery conditions on the sidewalk or private road
- Sidewalks improperly cleared of snow and ice.
- Icy conditions caused by water leaking from a downspout or another source
- Sloped sidewalks that allow water to pool and freeze over
- Piles of snow located within a walking path
- Dangerous ice on steps leading up to the door
What to Do After an Accident on an Icy Sidewalk in New York City
Slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk can be incredibly jarring, making it difficult to know what to do after the fall happens. The first thing you should do is to call for emergency medical services. The sooner you get medical help, the better. Every day you wait to receive medical attention will reduce your chances of succeeding in a personal injury lawsuit. Defendants in personal injury lawsuits and insurance companies often claim that because people didn't get medical attention right away, their injury wasn't serious. You will need to submit evidence of your injuries so creating a record of your treatment is incredibly important.
We recommend going to the emergency room or receiving a comprehensive medical exam from a family doctor. The most important thing is not to delay treatment. When you speak to your doctor, make sure you tell her or him that you were injured in a slip and fall accident on an icy sidewalk or road. Be sure to mention all of your symptoms, even if you think they are minor.
Make certain that you follow through with all of your medical treatment and appointments. If you miss doctor appointments, fail to take your prescribed medication, or fail to attend physical therapy, the jury could assume that you don't take your injury seriously and refuse to award damages. Insurance companies may also claim that your injuries wouldn't be as bad if you had followed medical advice.
If you're able to do so, take lots of photos of the accident scene, especially photos showing the icy or snowy conditions on the sidewalk. Try to include close up photos and wide-angle photos from multiple directions of the exact place you fell and any dangerous conditions that could have contributed to your fall. These photos will help your lawyer evaluate your case and will serve as important evidence should you seek an insurance settlement or pursue a personal injury case.
New York Law Regarding Salting and Snow Removal
New York property owners must keep their sidewalks and steps free of snow and ice. As the victim of a slip and fall accident, you will have to show that the property owner had reasonable notice of the ice or snowy conditions and failed to correct the dangerous conditions. No property owner in New York City is exempt from the duty to keep their property free from ice or snow after a storm.
Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Property Owner
When it comes to slip and fall accidents on icy surfaces, determining who is at fault can be challenging. The city of New York owns some of the sidewalks in the city, while the state of New York owns other sidewalks. While it is possible to bring a claim against a municipality, these claims are complicated to win. You need to submit the claim relatively quickly after the accident happens.
However, many New York City sidewalks are the landlords' responsibilities, even when the government owns the sidewalk. It is worth looking into bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner next to the sidewalk on which you slipped and fell. The best thing you can do is speak with an experienced lawyer who will evaluate your case and advise you on your best legal options.
Contact Our Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyers Today
Attorney Michael J. Redenburg has helped many New York City clients recover the compensation they deserve after becoming injured in slip and fall accidents. He advocates strongly on behalf of his clients so they can obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.