Did You Slip on Snow or Ice?
Snow and ice are among the most common causes of
slip-and-fall accidents. When an individual suffers an injury due to a slip-and-fall accident
on snow or ice, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Property owners
are responsible for maintaining their grounds, including shoveling and
salting any snow or ice that may be present. When a property owner fails
to uphold these responsibilities, they may be liable for any damages that
are caused as a result. At
Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our premises liability attorneys have experience defending the rights
of those who have been unnecessarily injured in slip-and-fall accidents.
We have secured a number of favorable verdicts and settlements for victims
of slip and fall accidents, including one for $1.5 million.
Contact Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P., for experienced
representation. Our lawyers will seek maximum compensation compensation
for your injuries. For a free consultation with our New York snow injury
attorneys, please call (212) 406-1700 or
contact us online. Our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your
case, there is no fee unless we recover damages for you.
When Property Owners Fail to Maintain Safe Premises
Residential, commercial and public property owners may be held liable for
unclear accumulations of snow and ice, whether they failed to shovel,
plow, salt or sand their property. In New York City, property owners are
required to clear any accumulations of snow and ice within a reasonable
amount of time following the conclusion of a storm. Typically, property
owners must remove the snow and ice within four hours of the conclusion
of a storm to avoid liability. Should a property owner fail to respond
to accumulations of snow and ice within a reasonable amount of time, they
may be held liable for any injuries that result.
The Issue of Liability or Fault in Snow and Ice Falls
An accident caused by the presence of snow and ice often occurs on private
property or New York City Sidewalks. When an accident occurs on private
property, the landowner and/or tenant may be legally responsible for your
injury. If the accident occurred on a sidewalk, then the owner of the
property adjacent and next to the sidewalk may be liable.
The issue of whether liability or fault can be proven against the Defendant
in your case often depends on the issue of "notice." In other
words, was there enough time between when it snowed or that ice formed
and the time of your accident so as to be able to prove that the responsible
party knew or should have known of the snow, ice, or slippery condition
so that they should have cleared the property of this dangerous condition
prior to the time that your accident happened. In order to prove "notice"
or that the defendant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition
prior to your accident, there are numerous issues that must be carefully
investigated by your attorney. These issues also must be dealt with properly
during the "discovery" phase of your slip and fall case.
One such issue is when the poor weather occurred. Weather reports can often
be obtained to determine how much and what type of precipitation (rain,
sleet, snow) fell on the day of your accident and on the days before your
accident. The records should be obtained from the weather station closest
to the accident location, and a certified copy of such records may be
needed for admissibility purposes in the event that your case goes to
trial. Of course, if the condition that caused your accident still exists,
photographs should be taken whenever possible. Also, an investigation
should be done to determine the identity of any eyewitnesses to the conditions
that were present at the time of your accident. Such witnesses may be
helpful at trial, or in laying the foundation for settling your case through
deposition testimony regarding the dangerous conditions.
As the litigation proceeds, your attorney will have the opportunity to
take the deposition of one or more representatives of the defendant property
owner or property tenant. Sometimes a deposition is taken of a representative
of a management company for the property. At this point, the issue of
"notice" (i.e., what the defendant knew and when they knew it)
is further investigated. A good attorney will do a full interrogation
regarding many factors that may be crucial to proving liability or fault
in your case. These include but are not limited to finding out information
regarding the following:
- The identity of any and all employees or agents of the defendant who had
opportunity to observe and/or become aware of the dangerous conditions.
- The identity of any persons whose job responsibilities included monitoring,
inspecting, or cleaning the accident location, including but not limited
to the responsibility of clearing the relevant area of snow and ice.
- Any schedules that were in effect and any practice and procedure that the
property owner or other defendant followed for inspecting or cleaning
- Any records that exist regarding any of the above, and any records that
exist regarding actual steps that were taken to clear the dangerous area
of snow and/or ice prior to your accident
- If the defendant claims they actually did take steps to clear the sidewalk,
questions need to be answered regarding the manner in which it is claimed
that the sidewalk was cleared. For example, what equipment was allegedly
used to clear the sidewalk? Was a snowplow or other machinery used? Were
manual methods to clear the sidewalk such as use of snow shovels or salting
of the sidewalk employed? If so who did this and when?
The above examples represent just a few of the numerous issues that will
be addressed by a competent and experienced attorney who is handling a
slip and fall on snow or ice case.There is rarely the situation of a simple,
straightforward, or easy slip and fall case. A slip and fall on snow,
ice, or on anything else for that matter, usually involves a fall that
occurred due to what is known as a "transient" condition. In
other words, the condition was there, but it may now be gone. As a result,
defendants take every opportunity to deny liability. The property owner
or tenant may defend your lawsuit by claiming that the dangerous or defective
condition never existed in the first place. Alternatively the defendant
may argue that even if the condition did exist, they did not know about
it in time so that in the exercise of reasonable care they could have
done anything about it prior to the time your accident happened. Of course,
the defendant may also claim that your accident did not happen at all,
or that your serious injuries are somehow unrelated to the accident. There
is no shortage of claims or defenses that may be set forth by a party
to try to avoid liability for causing serious injury in a slip and fall accident.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a highly qualified and experienced
attorney represent you if you have been seriously injured due to a slip
and fall on snow or ice.
Injuries Caused by Falling on the Ice or Snow
All snow or ice related falls have the potential to result in serious injuries
and damages, especially in instances where the victims are elderly. Some
of the most common snow and ice injuries that result in a premises liability
The aforementioned injuries, however, are not in and of themselves grounds
for a lawsuit. In order to have a valid lawsuit, the victim's must
have caused either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages
are any medical costs not covered by insurance. Non-economic damages are
any long term emotional stress or pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Call a New York City Snow and Ice Accident Lawyer
Individuals who have suffered an injury due to a fall on snow and ice may
be able to recover compensation for a number of damages in a premises
liability lawsuit. Injured victims may be able to receive compensation
for any economic damages suffered such as lost wages or medical bills.
Lost wages are any loss of income or future earnings not covered by compensation.
Victims may also be able to receive compensation for any medical bills
not covered by insurance as well as any future doctor's appointments,
medical procedures, or medication relating to the injury. In addition
to economic damages, victims may also be able to receive compensation
for non-economic damages, such as long term pain and suffering or emotional
stress caused by the injury. In instances where the victim's injury
proved fatal, their family may be able to recover compensation through a
wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, families of victims may be able
to recover compensation for damages such as lost wages and future earning
potential, loss of consortium, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to a fall on snow
or ice, you may have legal recourse. For a free evaluation of your legal
options, call (212) 406-1700 or contact us online. Queller, Fisher, Washor,
Fuchs & Kool will review your case to see how we may be able to assist you.