Wintertime slips and falls

Wintry conditions of ice, snow and freezing rain can make even a short walk around the block dangerous. As pedestrians, we try to be careful not to slip and fall on slick, slippery surfaces created by winter weather. Sometimes, accidents happen, and if we are not seriously hurt, we pick ourselves up and move on. Other times, we slip, fall and injure ourselves on a sidewalk or in a parking lot because the property owner has not taken reasonable steps to fix a hazardous snowy or icy condition. In such cases, an injured pedestrian may be entitled to bring a lawsuit against the property owner for negligence.

Proving Negligence

A property owner is liable for negligence if he knew or should have known of a dangerously icy condition and failed to take reasonable action to remove it, erect a barrier around it, or warn pedestrians of it. Property owners are responsible for making sure that parking lots and sidewalks outside of businesses and residences are maintained in a safe manner. A property owner is liable for damages if his failure to act reasonably in removing a snow and ice hazard causes a person to fall and injure herself. For example, the Orlow firm represented a client who parked in a bank parking lot after a large snowfall. She slipped and fell on ice and suffered an injury. Our attorneys were able to obtain compensation for our client by showing that the property owner had an obligation to remove the snow in the parking lot and that his failure to reasonably do so had been the cause of our client’s injuries.

When property owners do take steps to remove ice and snow they must do it properly. Snow removal done carelessly or inadequately can leave behind dangerously icy patches while creating a false impression of safety. Unsuspecting pedestrians who fall and hurt themselves on ice and snow remaining after clean-up efforts may be able to hold the property owner liable for negligence.

Municipalities like the City of New York also have an obligation to maintain city-owned property in a reasonably safe condition. This includes city parks and the sidewalks abutting them. In one case, the Orlow firm represented a client who slipped, fell and hurt herself on a sidewalk outside a New York City park. After thorough investigation, our attorneys were able to show that, although it had snowed one week before the date of the accident, the city could produce no evidence of having made efforts to shovel the sidewalk during that period.

As illustrated by the case above, proving negligence often requires an analysis of evidence such as business records and weather forecast data. Other helpful documentation and evidence may include photographs and witness statements.

Your Claim for Damages

If a property owner’s negligence in failing to act reasonably to remove hazardous ice and snow results in your being injured, you may be entitled to seek compensation in the form of damages. You may be able to recover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages from inability to work, pain and suffering and the loss of your ability to engage in regular day to day activities and leisure pursuits.

Proving negligence in wintertime slip and fall cases is not always easy. You must make sure that you have acted quickly to preserve evidence and documentation of your injuries and the icy conditions that caused them. In addition, your claim for damages against a negligent property owner must be filed in a timely fashion, especially if you wish to file a lawsuit against the city.

The Orlow firm’s attorneys are experts in obtaining compensation for our clients in wintertime slip and fall cases. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a slippery, icy condition, contact the experienced New York slip and fall attorneys at the Orlow Firm. The initial consultation is free. For your convenience, we maintain four offices throughout New York City. Call (646) 647-3398 or contact us online.