As temperatures drop in New York City and snow and rain starts to fall,
the number of slip and fall accidents increase. If you sustain serious
injuries after slipping on snow or ice while shopping at a retail store,
restaurant, or private home, you might be wondering if you can hold the
property owner legally liable for your injuries. In this blog, our New
York City personal injury lawyers discuss property owner’s duty
of care in preventing snow and ice hazards.
Slip and fall accidents typically occur on sidewalks or parking lots outside
of the business. As a property or business owner, they are required to
exercise reasonable care in maintaining a safe area. If you slipped on
ice on the sidewalk or parking lot of a business, ask yourself these questions:
- Did the owner have regularly scheduled snowplow or ice removal services?
- Was the owner conducting regular inspections of the property to make sure
it was safe for customers and guests?
- Did the owner reasonably anticipate the possibility of these hazards and
While property owners are expected to maintain their property, customers,
and other guests are also expected to have exercised a reasonable duty
of care when walking in an area they know or could reasonably expect to
be icy. For example, if you slipped and fell while running through a parking
lot covered in ice and snow, your inability to exercise reasonable care
could mean a reduction in compensation.
Another factor to consider before filing a
slip and fall injury case caused by snow or ice is the “natural accumulation rule”
and “reasonableness” considerations. The natural accumulation
rule is a rule some states use to relieve property owners from liability
in a slip and fall case. If they had taken steps to remove the ice or
snow hazards, but the injury was caused by a natural accumulation of snow
or ice in the area, they could be held less liable for the person’s
injury. The law recognizes that it is unreasonable to expect a property
owner to constantly plow or remove ice from an area. The “reasonableness
rule” acknowledges that it is reasonable for a person to expect
to encounter ice on a sidewalk in New York City during winter, but perhaps
not as reasonable for someone to expect as much ice or snow in a southern
state such as California or Arizona.
Compensation for Your Injuries
If your slip and fall injury could have been prevented had the owner taken
reasonable care to maintain their property, you could recover compensation
for your injuries. Filing a lawsuit against a larger corporation or other
business can feel intimidating, but with a skilled New York City personal
injury attorney in your corner, you can feel confident in the success
of your case. At Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP, we can help
you gather the documents, evidence, and witness testimony you need to
prove your case.
Read more about
premises liability law or
contact our offices to discuss the details of your case.