What Obligations Do Property Owners Have For Winter Conditions?
Slippery sidewalks, icy staircases, unplowed driveways – these are all dangers of the winter months. Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure safety for everyone who sets foot on their property, whether that be an apartment building, house, store, business, office building, or event space. If you were injured due to negligence on the part of a property owner who let the premises be left in dangerous winter conditions, you may have the right to sue for compensation.
Fighting a legal battle after being injured may be the last thing on your mind. However, hiring a team of professional, compassionate, and highly experienced lawyers can decrease your stress level and increase your chances for success. At Hill & Moin LLP, we have obtained real results for clients who were injured due to negligent property owners who failed to care for their property in winter conditions.
When you have the experienced personal injury lawyers at Hill & Moin LLP on your side, you can be confident that your future is secure. We believe that you deserve professionalism, and in our more than 50 years of combined experience representing individuals in their personal injury cases, we have learned how to give our clients the confidence they need to get successful legal remedies. Find out what our experienced “Super Lawyers” can do for you with a free case evaluation – call us now at (212) 668-6000.
The Dangers of Winter Conditions
Winter often brings with it slippery and hazardous walking and driving conditions. In New York, we often face icy and snowy weather which can make it hard to get to work, go shopping, or even just walk on the streets. These conditions are a common cause of slip-and-fall accidents, and they are usually preventable.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, there were over 20,000 occupational injuries related to ice, sleet and snow, 14 percent (2,890 cases) of which occurred in New York State. While this number represents workplace injuries, these winter-related accidents can occur no matter where we happen to be, including on other people’s property. Sidewalks, steps, and parking lots can be particularly dangerous in cold weather.
Black ice is often referred to when dangerous winter conditions are discussed. Since it is nearly invisible to the naked eye, it is responsible for many slip-and-fall accidents. Black ice often forms on bridges, low-lying areas, or shaded places. If your injuries were caused by a fall on black ice, you may have legal recourse against the property owners.
The Responsibilities of Property Owners
New York State law dictates that sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, and parking spaces must be kept free from hazardous conditions, including ice and snow. This duty falls on the property owners, or the lessees, tenants, occupants, property manager, or maintenance staff who are directly responsible for maintaining the safety of the premises. We commonly say “property owner,” when this term could refer to other people as well.
If the person, people, or company responsible for keeping the property safe knew, or should have known, about a dangerous condition and they failed to rectify it, they may be held liable. For instance, if there was a snow or ice storm, they have a duty to make sure that the premises remained safe in the aftermath of that storm.
There are municipal and state laws governing snow removal, so it is important to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer who knows the local laws where you are located.
At Hill & Moin, in our over 40 years of practice, we have seen many serious injuries that resulted from a fall in the snow or ice. We know that this kind of trauma can be serious and life-altering. We also know that you need someone in your corner who can protect your rights. Give us a call today, with no cost or obligation, to find out if we can help you.
How to Prove That a Property Owner Has Been Negligent?
If you or your loved ones were injured on another’s property due to a slip and fall on ice or snow, you may be wondering what you need to prove in order to receive compensation. In most cases, the property owner is responsible or liable for what happens on the property. Therefore, if the owner displayed negligence by inadequately caring for the property, then he or she may be obliged to pay a settlement in a premises liability lawsuit.
Proving negligence in caring for the winter conditions of a property requires a few different things. First, the property owner or manager was aware, or should have been aware, that snow or ice was likely to appear on the property. This awareness usually comes from weather reports or visual verification of winter weather conditions. Also, if the property owner is away from the premises, he or she is responsible for having someone left in charge of maintaining the property safely.
Next, in order to prove owner negligence, we must prove that the person in charge of the property failed to remove the hazardous conditions within a certain period of time. The allotted period of time is dependent on municipal and state laws. For example, in New York City, snow must be cleaned up between 4 and 15 hours after it stops snowing, depending on the time of day. Failure to remove the snow or ice during this allotted period of time leaves the property owner open to fines and liability if anyone is subsequently injured.
Finally, there must be a clear connection between the property owner’s actions, or lack thereof, and your injuries. A premises liability lawyer will be able to look at the facts of your case and give you an idea of what is needed in order to prove who should be held liable in your case. Call Hill & Moin for a free consultation – we are fluent in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Yiddish, and Armenian.
Financial Compensation for Your Winter Slip-and-Fall Accident
When winter conditions are involved, premises liability cases are not always cut and dried. While the property owner’s insurance may provide coverage in some cases, it is always better to get a personal injury lawyer on board at the beginning of your journey to seek financial compensation. At Hill & Moin, we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t owe us anything unless we obtain compensation on your behalf.
Speaking with a premises liability lawyer can give you a better idea of what your case may be worth. This can include your expenses in the immediate aftermath of the incident, future expenses, and even compensation for what you have suffered.
These could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical expenses
- Ambulance costs
- Ongoing therapy costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
Each case is unique, so your chances of receiving financial compensation in the form of a legal settlement or insurance payout depend on the exact set of circumstances surrounding your claim. What you can be sure of, is that your dedicated personal injury lawyer will fight for you to get every cent you deserve if the property owner is liable for your injuries.
At Hill & Moin, in our decades of experience, we have obtained over $200 million in awards and settlements for our injured clients. We are one of New York’s top 5 percent, or “Super Lawyers,” yet we treat each and every client like family. Don’t hesitate to contact us about your case.
How Hill & Moin Helps Our Clients
“It’s like having a lawyer in your family” – this is the sentiment we live by with each and every case that we take on for our valued clients. We have the experience to know what each case could be worth and the resources to take it all the way through the legal process in order to get a successful resolution. We seek justice for each and every one of our clients.
If you were injured in an accident due to winter conditions on another person’s property, you may have the circumstances to get financially compensated for what you have suffered. At Hill & Moin, our knowledgeable injury lawyers aggressively defend our clients’ rights. We help them by investigating the facts of the case and proving who was truly responsible for the incident.
Winter conditions happen, but accidents don’t have to – if property owners do what they should to keep their premises safe. Snow and ice may be unexpected, but that is no excuse for dangerous conditions left untended. If you were injured due to a property owner or manager’s lack of care, you have rights.
Contact Hill & Moin for a free consultation about your premises liability case today. We are available 24/7 at (212) 668-6000, so don’t delay – call to learn about your personalized Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ.
Don’t wonder about your rights!