Premises Liability

Icy Slip Accidents in Nassau County

During the winter months, pedestrians must take additional precautions when walking the streets of New York. Wearing the proper footwear and keeping watch for potentially dangerous black ice are steps we can all take to avoid a slip and fall accident. However, there are times where an unavoidable accident may happen. If your fall is due to a property owner’s negligence, you may have a potential claim against that property owner.

Here are some issues that help determine if you have a case:

  • Storm in Progress - If your slip and fall accident occurs during an actual storm, your case will not be successful. The theory is that property owners should not be expected to be outside during a storm clearing their property. However, once the storm stops, a property owner is expected, within a reasonable time, to provide a safe passage. What is a reasonable time will depend on where the accident happens. In order to prove a case like this, we would hire an expert meteorologist who will issue us a report detailing when the last precipitation fell in the area of your fall. This report is critical in establishing that your accident did not occur during a storm in progress. This report, coupled with evidence of faulty snow removal efforts, if any efforts were made, should be enough to establish negligence.
  • Improper Snow Removal Efforts - If it can be shown that the property owner was negligent in the manner in which they removed snow, you may have a successful claim. For example, if the property owner removes the snow and places it in such manner as to create a barrier, or trap, an argument could be made that the owner increased the risk of harm to you, the pedestrian.
  • Recurring Condition - If a property owner knows that part of their property traveled by the public, is susceptible to a build up of ice, that owner is on notice of a potentially dangerous condition. For example, water may accumulate on the sidewalk near a drainage downspout. If this accumulation occurs during winter months, there is always the danger that the water will freeze into ice. Therefore this property owner knows of the dangerous condition and is charged under the law with the responsibility of making sure that this situation is addressed during the cold winter months. If not, the property owner could be held liable if a pedestrian falls on the ice.

These are some of the issues that must be confronted in all snow and ice cases. Our Premises Liability Attorneys have handled many of these types of cases. The cases that are successful are always won or lost at the beginning, after investigation.

For that reason, it is important to contact us immediately after such an accident so that we may properly investigate the circumstances of the fall and possibly take photos.

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