During New York’s colder months, winter slip-and-fall accidents are a common occurrence. Despite typically resulting in minor injuries like cuts and bruises, these incidents can escalate into more severe harm. The impact of landing on unforgiving surfaces can lead to consequences ranging from torn ligaments to fractures.
Property owners bear the responsibility of ensuring the safety of their premises. Neglecting this duty could lead to legal repercussions if an injury occurs due to their negligence. Holding property owners accountable for maintaining a reasonably safe environment is crucial in preventing such accidents.
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we operate under a system that centers on our clients’ needs and best interests. Recovering from a serious injury is challenging enough without the stress of a personal injury case. The attorneys at our firm are committed to helping our clients through the process, giving them room and resources to focus on their recovery and helping them secure fair compensation. Increase your chances of a successful resolution to your claim and contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe today.
When Is Someone Liable for a Winter Slip-And-Fall Accidents on Ice?
Liability for a slip-and-fall accident caused by winter conditions such as ice or snow depends on whether the party was responsible for ensuring the premises were maintained reasonably safely. The area of personal injury law that focuses on the safety of properties is known as premises liability.
The basic rule of premises liability is that property owners are liable when they fail to address a dangerous condition on the property that they were aware of, and the dangerous condition causes someone (lawfully) on the property to be injured.
Who Is Liable for Winter Slip-and-Fall Accidents Caused by Inclement Weather?
The person or entity responsible for covering damages after a slip-and-fall accident caused by winter conditions depends on who is responsible for the safety of the premises where the accident occurred. More specifically, the party responsible for damages will be whoever was responsible for removing the ice, snow, or other winter elements from the premises that caused the accident. Depending on the type of property, the following may be considered liable for damages:
- A public entity
- A commercial property owner
- A commercial property lessee
- A third-party snow removal company
- A non-commercial property owner (i.e. homeowner)
- An employer
Slip-and-fall accident claims can be challenging to pursue because it can be difficult to determine whether a property is privately or publicly owned. Most slip-and-fall conditions caused by winter conditions, such as ice or snow, occur outdoors, often in parking lots or sidewalks. It’s not always immediately obvious whether a given section of a property is the responsibility of a public entity or adjacent private business.
An Important Exception: The Storm in Progress Doctrine
It’s not fair to expect property owners or other third-party maintenance companies to shovel snow or clear ice during a snowstorm—this is referred to as the storm-in-progress doctrine. The rule states that property owners are not required to address hazardous winter storm-related conditions during an ongoing storm, for a reasonable time after the storm, or during a lull or break in the storm.
Recover Fair Compensation With the Help of a Slip-And-Fall Attorney
Being seriously injured because of a slip-and-fall accident caused by ice or snow may seem like it’s your own fault. While not every slip-and-fall accident warrants a premises liability claim, it’s always important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They can ensure that you have the best chance, from the start, at getting a successful resolution to your case if there’s a person or entity responsible for your injuries.
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, we help our clients find the best legal solutions to help them recover the compensation they need to get their life back on track. Contact us at 516-358-6900 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today. You can also subscribe to our Cohen & Jaffe YouTube Channel to learn more about the intricacies of premises liability laws that may impact your claim.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900