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What to Do When You Slip and Fall on Ice ?

Slip and Fall on Ice
Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow

During the winter, it is typical to see icy and snowy surfaces in New York. This means that it is especially important to watch your step during this season to avoid slipping and falling. Fall incidents can be excruciatingly painful, potentially resulting in serious injuries and costly medical expenditures. Some people do not treat slip and fall accidents seriously; it is typical to observe someone falling and then brushing it off as if it were a minor ice or snow slip. Even mild falls, though, can result in injuries that you may not detect right away. As a result, there are a few things you should do following an ice or snow accident. If you have recently sustained an injury as a result of a slip and fall accident on ice and believe you are entitled to compensation, you should consult with a slip and fall attorney to discuss your legal options.

5 Steps to Take After You Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow in NY

  1. Get medical attention: The first thing you should do following a slip and fall accident is to ensure that you are not gravely injured. Seek medical assistance as quickly as possible if you hit your head on the floor or if you are in pain due to an injury to your arms or legs. Unattended injuries can worsen over time, thus it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible following the event.
  1. Gather evidence: Depending on the weather, snow and ice can vanish quickly. If you intend to seek compensation for your injuries, you must have documentation to back up your claims. Taking photos or videos is essential for building a solid case. Take pictures of the snowy or ice surface that caused your fall accident and its location, for example, if it is an icy sidewalk and walkway, you must make it clear that pedestrians use it to get someplace. If you go to the hospital, make sure to keep copies of all documents given to you such as medical records, medical test results and medical bills.
  1. Get witnesses’ contact information:If you fall in a public place and more people witnessed what happened, try to obtain their contact information. Request their names and phone numbers. That way, you will be able to obtain testimonies from witnesses, which could be quite useful in an injury claim.
  1. Report the incident to the property owner/manager: You must notify the property owners or managers of the occurrence, informing them that you fell on their property due to snowy or icy conditions. You should describe your injuries and the specific location of the accident. Try to report the accident by email; this may help you prove that the owners were informed of the event shortly after it occurred.
  1. Contact a personal injury lawyer: Contacting a skilled slip and fall attorney is one of the most critical things to do following a slip and fall accident. They will assist you in understanding your legal options and will advise you on the best course of action.

Common Injuries Caused by a Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow

Slip and fall accidents on ice or snow can be very dangerous and can lead to a variety of injuries.

  • Fractures: One of the most common injuries caused by slip and fall incidents is fractures. When we walk on a slippery surface, such as black ice, our natural instinct is to extend our arms to try to recover balance. In many circumstances, even if we try, we still fall, and we tend to break the fall with our arms. Nonetheless, when we put our weight on our arms, we are highly likely to fracture our wrists or other bones. Fractures can be very painful. Most fractures heal in 6-8 weeks, but this varies greatly from bone to bone and from person to person due to several factors. Hand and wrist fractures usually heal in 4-6 weeks, whereas tibia fractures can take up to 20 weeks to recover.
  • Bruises: A bruise occurs when little blood vessels beneath the skin are damaged and begin to leak blood. This causes a bruise, which is a colorful mark under your skin. Most slip and fall accidents will cause bruises to appear in the affected area and depending on the severity can become painful. The majority of mild injury bruises heal in about 2 weeks. Bruising can harm soft tissues, muscles, and bones.
  • Back injuries: Falling on your back can cause different back injuries. Some of the most common are strains and sprains. Strains are frequently caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon in your back. They can be very painful but recovery time is usually short compared to other injuries. One of the most serious injuries that can be caused by a slip and fall accident is a fractured vertebra. A fractured vertebra, commonly known as a compression fracture, is a crack or break in the vertebral column. 
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury (SCI) is defined as damage to the spinal cord that causes a loss of function, such as mobility and/or sensation. Slip and fall accidents can cause spinal cord injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury and the location of it, people can lose mobility of some limbs, paralysis or even quadriplegia. 
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Hitting your head against the floor can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Mild traumatic brain injury can momentarily alter your brain cells. More acute traumatic brain injury can cause bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical brain damage. These injuries can cause long-term consequences or even death.

New York Laws For Slip and Falls on Ice or Snow

There are rules in New York that compel property owners or managers to clear ice and snow from their premises within a reasonable time after a snowstorm. According to the New York Administrative Code, all property owners and managers are required to remove ice and snow from sidewalks next to their property within 4 hours from the time the snowfall ends. However, this time period does not apply between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

Who Is Liable for My Slip on Ice Injuries?

Property owners or managers

Owners and managers of residential properties are responsible for ensuring that their premises are safe and free of dangerous conditions. Surfaces that are snowy or slippery are deemed hazardous. As a result, snow and ice must be removed in a reasonable amount of time, as previously stated. Once a certain quantity of snow has accumulated, walkways, sidewalks, parking lots, and other common places must be shoveled and salted. Failure to remove snow may lead it to melt and then freeze, resulting in black ice, which is even more dangerous than snow.

Commercial establishment owners or managers

Commercial property owners, like residential property owners, must guarantee that their facilities are safe for pedestrians. However, in some business locations, the proprietors may not be held accountable if someone falls. In a mall strip, for example, the owners of each store may be responsible for clearing the snow and ice in front of their stores, rather than the mall owners or management. Liability in commercial businesses may rest on someone other than the owners, depending on who is liable for snow removal according to the leasing agreement.

Government Property

It is possible to sue a government organization if someone slips and falls on its grounds. Attempting to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against a government organization, on the other hand, comes with its own set of obstacles. The statute of limitations is frequently shorter, and other conditions must be met in order to file a lawsuit. If you were injured in a government institution due to snow or ice, you should contact an attorney as quickly as possible to analyze your case.

Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow Lawyers in New York

Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, no matter how careful you are, especially in winter time. Fall accidents caused by snowy or icy surfaces can be painful and expensive to treat. In some cases your injuries will prevent you from going to work, which would cause you to lose money. If you believe that your injuries were caused due to the negligence of a property owner or manager and you deserve compensation for your injuries and lost wages, do not hesitate in contacting Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our legal team has years of experience helping people recover compensation for their injuries caused by slip and fall accidents. Call us at 212-969-8776 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case. 

Blog > Accident Lawyer > Tags > Can You Sue If You Slip on Ice?

Can You Sue If You Slip on Ice?

Slip on Ice Injury
Slip on Ice Injury

New York is one of the states that receives the most snow in the country every year. On average The state of New York receives 55.32 inches of snow a year. Winter weather causes some dangerous conditions for pedestrians. After a snowfall it is very common that snow and ice accumulate on walkways, sidewalks, parking lots and other areas, this can cause someone to slip and suffer a fall injury. Can you sue if you slip on ice and hurt yourself? Short answer is yes. It is possible to sue the property owner but it will depend on some factors that can support your claim. You will need to prove that your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. If you are able to demonstrate that your fall injury was the result of negligence, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. One of the most important things to do after suffering a fall injury is contacting a personal injury attorney.

Ice and Snow Removal Law in New York

Property owners and managers have a legal duty of care to keep their properties safe from hazardous conditions such as slippery surfaces caused by snow and ice. This means that during winter, landlords need to remove snow and ice from their premises within a reasonable amount of time after a snowfall or storm. According to Section 16-123 of the New York City Administrative Code (NYCAC), snow and ice must be removed within a period of 4 hours after the snow stops falling. However, it is important to remark that this rule only applies during the day. If snow stops falling between 9 pm and 7 am, property owners are not required to clear their premises until 7 am. The areas that must be cleared after a snowfall are:

  • Sidewalks adjoint to the property
  • Entrances
  • Walkways
  • Floors
  • Front steps
  • Parking lots

If the snow and ice cannot be removed without causing damage to the sidewalk, property owners must cover the area with sand, ash, sawdust, or any other material that will make the surface less slippery. Nonetheless, ice and snow must be removed as soon as the weather permits.

Who Is Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries on Ice or Snow?

Determining liability in a slip and fall accident is not so simple in all cases. For example, if you rent an unit in an apartment building, you will need to check your lease to see who is responsible for snow removal. In some cases, property owners or managers are responsible for snow removal, but in other cases tenants are responsible for keeping premises clear of snow and ice.The majority of landlords hire snow removal businesses to take care of their properties. Depending on the terms of the contract signed by the landlord and the snow removal company, the service provider may be held liable for the injuries sustained by someone who fell due to ice or snow. IIf a person is injured by a fall at a commercial facility, such as a mall, the mall administration is not always responsible. For example, some shopping centers have stores that are not inside the main building, thus snow and ice might gather in front of these establishments. In certain circumstances, the mall administration is responsible for clearing ice and snow from these areas, but in others, each store is responsible for keeping the front of their establishment free of ice and snow. Another possibility could be that someone slips and falls on government property. There are cases of people who have suffered fall accidents in parking lots of post offices, tax offices or other government institutions. In these cases, things might get a little more complicated. Government entities enjoy sovereign immunity, which protects them from civil litigation. Nonetheless, this   immunity can be waived under certain circumstances. If you suffered a slip and fall injury on government property, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to learn more about your legal options. 

What to Do If You Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow in NY?

The most crucial thing to do following a slip and fall accident on ice or snow is to get medical attention. Because of the adrenaline, some people do not feel pain and believe they are unharmed. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately following the accident, but they will worsen with time. As a result, it is recommended that you consult a doctor to ensure that you are not at risk. Contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer will help you through the legal process of filing an injury claim and building a strong case.

How to Prove Your Slip and Fall on Ice Injury Claim

It is not always easy to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by a slip and fall accident on ice caused by the property owner’s negligence. Nonetheless, doing the actions outlined below will increase your chances of receiving compensation. A critical step to take is to document the incident. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, making sure the snow or ice that caused you to slip is clearly visible. If anyone witnesses what happened, you can get their contact information so they can offer a statement about what they saw. A witness statement can be very helpful in building a strong case. Additionally, you must gather all medical documentation after you have been checked by a doctor. Keep your medical bills, test results and all documents related to the accident. Try to preserve the clothes and shoes you were wearing, this will help prove that even if you were wearing proper footwear and clothes, your accident could not be prevented.If your injuries were severe enough to keep you from working, you will need to obtain a letter from your employer proving that you were unable to work. You will also need to have copies of your pay stubs or contracts that show the amount of money you make to recover lost wages.

How Much Should I Settle for a Slip and Fall on Ice

Slip and fall accidents result in a wide range of injuries. Each injury is unique, and no two treatments will be the same. As a result, estimating the cost of your medical bills is difficult. Slip and fall accidents typically result in settlements ranging from $15,000 to $45,000. This does not necessarily imply that all settlements will fall inside this range. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, can result in settlements far beyond $45,000.

New York Personal Injury Lawyer

Slip and fall accidents can be very painful and costly, especially if they keep you from working. If your accident was caused by a property owner’s negligence, you may be entitled for compensation. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our lawyers have vast experience handling slip and fall claims. Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients in court. If you believe you deserve compensation, we can help you take legal action. Call us at 212-969-8757 to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to review your case.