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If you slipped and fell on ice and sustained a serious injury, many parties could be legally responsible. Contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can begin investigating and preserving evidence.
In this interview, attorney Michael Greenspan explains more about the legal implications of slip and falls involving icy or uneven sidewalks.
Michael Greenspan is a personal injury attorney based in White Plains, New York. He can be contacted directly by calling 888-392-6439 or by submitting a form on the side of this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you owe no out of pocket attorney fees.
This ruling is all about finding out who is responsible if someone is walking down a sidewalk and slips on a patch of ice. In New York, that responsibility falls on the property owner closest to the sidewalk, not the city. These property owners tend to be large corporations. These corporations would attempt to blame the tenants for failing to keep the property safe.
In October of 2019, New York passed a law clarifying that the owners of the real property have a duty to maintain the sidewalks. This meant they had to get rid of snow, ice, dirt, or other hazards in a timely manner. This new law says that landlords cannot escape responsibility for serious injuries.
Each town, village, and city has its own code for determining liability in slip and fall cases. Depending on the language used, the property owner may or may not be strictly liable. The injured party or their attorney must research all relevant codes to determine liability.
In the city, it could be the landowner’s fault if they know there’s a defect in the sidewalk and haven’t done anything to fix it. This only applies to significant defects that you can clearly see.
New York has something called the Storm in Progress Rule. This means that if someone is walking during a storm and they fall on some ice, the property owner is generally not going to be liable. The law gives property owners a reasonable amount of time after the storm stops to make the area safer. Attorney Greenspan says that drivers and pedestrians should be especially careful between 11 pm and 6 am because roads and sidewalks could be especially slippery.
The company could be held responsible if their failure to clear snow and ice caused you to fall. For this, you must show that the danger existed for a long enough period of time that they knew about it and failed to take care of it. Multiple parties could be responsible for this failure.
Since there are so many parties involved with the upkeep of a property, along with municipal codes dictating who could be liable, you need an attorney to sift through all these layers. They can find out who should have been cleaning the sidewalk and help hold them responsible. As the injured party, you should be focusing on your recovery. Insurance adjusters might be calling you and asking difficult questions, which would be hard to answer when you are in pain. Your lawyer can help answer these questions with clarity.
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You need to document the evidence on the scene as quickly as you can to build your best case. There may be surveillance footage that can corroborate your case, but this footage doesn’t last forever. An attorney who has experience with premises liability claims can make sure the film is preserved.
That could be a reasonable defense. An attorney will need to investigate whether or not that third party had a role in making the situation worse. If the property owner did everything in their power to make the sidewalk safer and the snow removal company added more snow or ice to the sidewalk, then they could bear more of the responsibility.
To learn more, contact Michael Greenspan by calling 888-392-6439 or by submitting a form on the side of this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you owe no out of pocket attorney fees.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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