During winter, New Yorkers know to expect cold weather and a fair amount of ice and snow. What they may not expect, however, is a nasty fall on a slick sidewalk. If that fall was caused by a failure to properly remove ice and snow, the property owner or tenant could be liable for any injuries that result.
If you have been hurt by falling on an icy sidewalk, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the property owner. This type of claim is handled through the at-fault party’s homeowner’s, renter’s, or commercial insurance policy. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
The Odierno Law Firm aggressively advocates for injury victims throughout Long Island. We work hard to help our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries. Reach out today to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.
Recovering Compensation After Your Injury
Our winters can be frigid and roadways, sidewalks, and other areas can become hazardous to those who drive or walk on icy surfaces. Snowy, icy roads can lead to deadly accidents, and slippery, icy sidewalks are the cause of countless injury accidents in the communities of Long Island (Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens). If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to icy or snowy conditions, whether a slip & fall or car accident, it is crucial that you immediately contact a legal professional to assess the case and advise you how to proceed in seeking compensation for damages.
Although icy and snowy roads contribute to dangerous car and truck accidents, in many cases it has been determined that the driver was driving far faster than would be considered a safe speed due to the road conditions. Truck drivers particularly are trained in how to operate vehicles in icy and snowy conditions, and if they have violated their own safety procedures, they may still be considered liable in a court of law, depending upon the exact circumstances of the case.
In a slip and fall case, you may be entitled to financial compensation – known as damages – for all of your losses. These damages fall into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory damages, as they compensate an injury victim for their losses.
Economic damages include money for direct financial losses, such as lost wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, medical bills, and future medical treatment. It may also include compensation for things like modifications to your home or vehicle if you are permanently disabled from your fall.
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and disfigurement. These damages can be harder to prove, but a skilled New York premises liability attorney can help put together a claim based on their experience and knowledge of similar cases.
Punitive damages are generally not available in personal injury cases, which are typically based on a theory of negligence or carelessness. However, if a person acted intentionally or recklessly, they could be liable for punitive damages, which are designed to penalize a wrongdoer. For example, if a person knew that the temperature was going to get very low overnight and decided to throw water on the sidewalk to make it icy, a jury may award punitive damages to an injury victim who slipped and fell on the sidewalk outside of their house.
The best way to get full compensation for your injuries from a slip and fall accident is by working with an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer. Studies show that injury victims who have legal representation recover an average of 40% more than people who represent themselves. Give our law office a call to schedule a free consultation about your icy sidewalk fall case.
Who is Responsible for Covering My Damages?
When the accident occurred on an icy or snowy walking surface, a property owner, government agency, or someone else may have liability for not ensuring that visitors to the area were safe from the danger of slipping and falling.
Generally, people who own or occupy property have a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property. This includes renters, commercial tenants, and even government agencies. If you fall in a parking lot, for example, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the store that you were visiting, the owner of the property, or even a government agency that was responsible for maintaining the lot.
To win a premises liability case, you must demonstrate that there was a hazardous condition on the property, that the owner/occupier knew or should have known about it, and that they either failed to fix it or warn others of the hazard. The key is that they knew about the hazard. When it comes to snow and ice, it will often be difficult for a property owner or occupier to argue that they weren’t aware that weather conditions were bad. This type of claim must be filed within 3 years of the date of the accident.
A slip and fall is a classic premises liability case. While this often occurs due to a wet floor, crumbling pavement, or another issue, it can also happen because of snow or ice that either hasn’t been cleared or was improperly removed.
When it comes to snow and ice, each city or town has rules about how long property owners or tenants have to clear it. For example, in New York City, owners, lessees, or any other person who has control over a property is responsible for cleaning snow and ice. Depending on when the snow stops falling, you have a limited window to remove the snow:
- Between 7:00 am and 4:49 p.m.: snow must be cleared within 4 hours
- Between 5:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.: snow must be removed within 14 hours
- Between 9:00 p.m. and 6:59 a.m.: snow must be cleared by 11:00 a.m. the following day.
If a property owner fails to remove snow and ice appropriately, and someone falls and gets hurt as a result, then they may be held liable for any injuries that result. The amount of time a property owner has to remove snow may vary based on local ordinances.
Although for some a slip and fall accident may only cause mild bruising, for others it can result in:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Brain damage
It is always wise to seek medical attention directly after an injury, as some effects are not immediately apparent. Seeing a doctor – or going to the emergency room – can help to ensure that you get the right diagnosis and treatment. It can also establish a connection between your injuries and the slip and fall accident.
Once you have gotten medical treatment, your next step should be to reach out to experienced premises liability lawyers to schedule a consultation. Do not talk to the property owner or give a statement to their insurance company before you talk to an attorney. Your lawyer will protect your interests and help you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
In cases of snow and ice injuries, it is vital that you get legal representation that has a proven record of successfully recovering damages in such cases. At The Odierno Law Firm, P.C., our legal team has more than 150 years of combined experience in personal injury cases, including those involving icy and snowy surfaces and roadways. We take on each case with a firm resolve to recover fair and full compensation for our injured clients and are proud of our impressive record in assisting the injured and their families in cases of injury resulting from icy or snowy conditions.
Based in Long Island, The Odierno Law Firm helps injury victims get the money that they deserve for their injuries. We offer free case evaluations so that you can determine how the case is expected to proceed, and how it will be addressed legally. Give our law firm a call at 631-752-8580 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Long Island premises liability attorney.
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We are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have sustained. We are determined to fight for you. We have a no recovery, no fee policy, so you don’t pay unless we win.
- You Will Not Pay Us Unless We Win Your Case
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