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What to Do When You Slip and Fall on Ice ?

What to Do When You 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.