Natives of Queens are well aware of the dangers of the harsh winter months. The snow, ice, and brutally cold temperatures create slip and fall hazards on our city streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and other walking surfaces. While it’s important for pedestrians to be wary of these dangers and exercise caution, property owners also have a duty to keep their premises safe.
The impact of a fall onto a hard surface can cause serious injuries which can sometimes be permanent or involve chronic pain. These injuries often require long-term medical care, surgery, medication, and other expensive treatments. If a property owner fails to address a snowy or icy sidewalk and a passerby falls and gets injured, the owner could be held liable for expenses related to the injury.
What Should I Do After Being Injured?
You should get medical treatment for your injuries before anything else. It’s important to have a doctor evaluate your condition and provide you with a plan for recovery. Allowing these injuries to go untreated can make them worse and induce further complications. Sometimes, symptoms may not surface until days or even weeks after the accident. These symptoms may also start out relatively minor and get progressively worse. Don’t wait for the pain to become unbearable – meet with a doctor immediately following your injury, regardless of how severe it may feel.
Next, you should contact an experienced Queens personal injury attorney. At Lipsig Queens, our slip and fall attorneys are familiar with local laws and know how to gather the appropriate evidence for establishing property owner negligence. We can carefully review the specific circumstances behind your fall and determine the best plan for seeking compensation.
A successful lawsuit can help you recover compensation for all injury-related damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Don’t suffer alone due to a property owner’s failure to keep their premises safe. It’s up to all of us to keep our environment free of dangers which could hurt our neighbors. When someone neglects this duty and an innocent passerby gets hurt, they deserve to be compensated while they recover from their injuries.
When Is A Property Owner Responsible?
In order to hold a property liable for a slip and fall injury, you must prove negligence. A property owner is considered negligent when they knew or reasonably should have known about a dangerous condition but failed to fix it. This means that if you slipped and fell during the middle of a blizzard, it’s unlikely the property owner would be held liable. But if the storm had been over for hours and the sidewalk had not been cleared, you may have a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit.
New York City’s Snow And Ice Removal Laws
New York City has local laws which establish a timeframe for removing ice and snow. If you’re a resident of Queens or any other borough, you should be aware of these local laws:
- If snowfall ends between 7 am and 5 pm, sidewalks must be cleared within four hours.
- If snowfall ends between 5 pm and 9 pm, sidewalks must be cleared within 14 hours.
- If snowfall ends between 9 pm and 7 am, sidewalks must be cleared by 11 AM.
In addition to sidewalks, property owners are required to clear snow and ice from nearby bus stops and fire hydrants. Failure to follow these rules could result in a citation from the city. Neighbors may also file complaints if a property owner fails to clear their sidewalk in an appropriate timeframe.
If you’ve recently been injured after falling on an icy or snow-covered sidewalk and believe the owner violated these laws, you should speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal options.