The arrival of winter in New York City means many things: glittering lights, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Christmas shopping, holiday shows…and increased dangers as ice and snow turn sidewalks and city streets hazardous and the danger of falling ice arises. Of course, both car accidents and slip and fall injuries occur year-round, and happen in a variety of contexts. However, ice and snow increase the risks for pedestrians, just as they do for drivers. And, injuries associated with a fall on an icy street or sidewalk can be much more extensive than you might expect.
Common Ice-and-Snow-Related Slip and Fall Injuries
Most of us have slipped and fallen on the ice at some point or other in our lives. Sometimes those accidents occur despite our best efforts, as we’re carefully picking our way across an icy stretch of sidewalk. In other cases, an unexpected patch of ice catches a pedestrian completely off guard. Often, a slip and fall due to weather conditions injures little more than our pride, and we stand up, shake it off and move on. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. This type of accident can result in serious injury.
Statistically, older people are more likely to sustain serious injuries in slip and fall cases. However, the aftermath of falling on the ice can be serious for a person of any age. Some common injuries associated with weather-related falls include:
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Some of these injuries may heal fairly quickly, while others may trigger long-term or even lifelong symptoms and limitations. A fall on the ice can even be fatal. Famed weight-loss doctor Robert Atkins died of a head injury sustained when he slipped on the ice, after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in his head.
New York Ice and Snow Removal Obligations
In New York, a property owner is responsible for maintaining premises in a safe condition. That’s true whether the property owner is a retail business, an individual homeowner or the city of New York itself. A property owner may be liable for damages when a slip and fall accident occurs because he or she failed to correct dangerous conditions after reasonable notice of a hazard, including snowfall or icy conditions.
However, identifying the responsible party may not be so straightforward. For example, business owners and operators are often responsible for removing ice and snow from the sidewalks in front of their establishments, even though the city of New York may technically own the walkway. An experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at Dansker & Aspromonte can help.
Evidence in Snow and Ice Slip and Fall Cases
In any personal injury case, acting quickly is to your advantage. It will be easier for your attorneys to contact witnesses and gather evidence immediately after the accident than six months or a year down the road. That’s especially true in an ice and snow case, since the evidence by its very nature will be changing and disappearing quickly. While it’s possible to successfully pursue an ice-related slip and fall case for up to three years in New York, you’ll give your attorneys the best tools by acting quickly to get help.
Talk to NYC Slip and Fall Lawyers
If you’ve suffered an injury after slipping and falling on the ice in New York City, contact our office at (844) 469-5291 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on the right-hand side of this page.
Our attorneys are experienced in managing slip and fall cases and have won verdicts and negotiated favorable settlements for our clients. In one situation, a client who had sustained a fractured knee when he slipped on an icy ramp attached to a building owned by Metropolitan life and subsequently suffered from depression was awarded $1.2 million.