Now that winter is here, the temperature has dropped, and snow has begun to fall. In the winter slip and falls on snow and ice are common in New York City. While it can be embarrassing to slip on an icy curb or sidewalk, it can also cause serious injuries.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Falls on Ice and Snow
Slip and falls on ice and snow are capable of causing severe injuries. Some examples of injuries that may be sustained include:
- Fractures—one of the most common types of injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident fractures are especially common when someone falls on ice.
- Soft Tissue Injuries—lacerations, sprains, strains, and contusions can all result from a slip and fall on ice and snow. In serious cases, these injuries can require surgery and lead to long-term complications such as chronic pain and scarring.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries—may result when people hit their heads during a slip and fall. Traumatic Brain Injuries can range from a mild concussion to significant brain damage that can cause lifelong complications.
Property owners have an obligation to keep their property free from hazards that can cause injury to others. This includes the removal of snow and ice. New York law requires property owners to clear snow from their property and surrounding areas. Property owners must clear at least a four-foot wide path on the sidewalk and remove snow and ice from sidewalks next to bus stops and fire hydrants. Where hard ice cannot be immediately removed, the property owner must spread sand or sawdust over the area as a temporary measure until the ice can be removed. A property owner who has failed to properly remove snow and ice from sidewalks, staircases, and walkways may be held liable for injuries caused by this failure.
A property owner can receive a summons from the City for failing to remove snow and ice during the applicable time frames (generally 4 hours after snow stops falling). If you notice snow and ice that has not been properly removed, you can file a complaint with the City.
If a governmental entity is responsible for snow and ice removal in a particular area, then that entity may also be held liable. Special rules apply when attempting to hold a governmental entity responsible for an injury. A notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of an incident. It is important to consult with an attorney when filing a claim against the government.
Consult an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall on snow and ice, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.