As winter approaches, New York’s streets and sidewalks become adorned with blankets of snow and ice. This brings not only the charm of the winter season but also the lurking danger of slip-and-fall accidents. As businesses open their doors to customers, they have a legal duty to ensure the safety of those who come to shop. This article dives into the responsibility of businesses in New York to clear snow and ice and what it means for someone to file a slip and fall claim in the state.
The Duty of Businesses to Clear Snow and Ice
In New York, property owners, including businesses, have a legal responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors. This responsibility extends to sidewalks and entryways.
Timing Matters: After a snowstorm, businesses usually have a reasonable amount of time to clear away the snow and ice. This ‘reasonable’ time is generally interpreted as the amount of time any prudent business owner would take in similar circumstances.
Entryways and Exits: Apart from sidewalks, businesses must also ensure that their entryways and exits are free from hazardous conditions. This means routinely checking and cleaning these areas, especially during ongoing snowfall or freezing conditions.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
If a business fails to adequately clear away snow and ice, and someone slips and falls as a result, the business can be held liable for any injuries sustained.
Comparative Negligence: New York operates under a comparative negligence system. This means that if the injured party was partially at fault for the accident (e.g., wearing inappropriate footwear), their potential compensation might be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in New York
If you’ve slipped and fallen on a snowy or icy surface outside a business, here’s what you need to know:
Document Everything: Take photos of the scene, your injuries, and any other evidence that might be relevant. Also, gather contact information from any witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention: Always get a medical evaluation after a fall, even if you believe your injuries are minor. This not only ensures your well-being but also serves as critical evidence in your claim.
Contact Our Attorneys: Slip and fall cases can be complex. An experienced personal injury attorney from Parker Waichman LLP can guide you through the claims process, ensuring your valuable legal rights are protected and helping you secure the monetary compensation your case deserves.
Statute of Limitations: In New York, you typically have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s best to act quickly to preserve evidence and ensure the best outcome for your case.
Winter’s beauty often comes with hazard conditions. Businesses in New York must recognize their responsibilities in keeping sidewalks and entryways safe. If you’ve suffered a slip and fall, consult with one of our experienced New York slip-and-fall injury lawsuit attorneys. It is crucial that your understand your legal rights and the steps necessary to obtain justice.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
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