“I’ve just slipped on ice, and I fractured my ankle? What should I do?”
A property owner has the duty to clear away snow and ice within a reasonable amount of time after the end of the storm to prevent injury. The owner does not have to remove snow and ice during the storm.
If you have been injured in a snow or ice accident, you should contact an attorney immediately.
A property owner must do the following:
- clear walkways and courtyards inside the property
- clean public sidewalks adjoining the premises
- clean driveways within the premises
- shovel and sand outside steps and ramps
- prevent ice from accumulating and falling from the roof
- prevent further icing during snow thaw and subsequent freezing temperatures.
Generally, the law holds the adjoining property owner responsible for sidewalk ice and snow clearance. Under prior law, New York City was liable unless the property owner either caused or contributed to the condition which led to the injury.
The Seitelman Law Firm handled a case in which the client fell in front of a garage. She fractured her wrist and she had surgery. We demonstrated that although there was a narrow path cut in the snow, the garage created an ice condition since its cars went in and out of the garage over the path. Our photographers captured the frozen tire tracks on the pathway. We settled the case before trial and earned our client fair compensation for her injury.
In another case, our client, a policeman, was walking patrol on West 42nd Street in front of the Grace Building. A chunk of ice fell from the building and hit our client in the face. The officer sustained a fractured eye orbit injury which required surgery.
We were able to show that the building had notice of the problem of falling ice and had failed to take adequate steps to remove ice from the roof and thereby prevent injuries to passerbys. The case was settled in our client’s favor and financial compensation was awarded.
In a snow and ice accident it is crucial to obtain photographs and to conduct investigation as soon as possible. In the case of the garage accident, our photographers were on the scene the very next day while the snow was melting. Our quick investigation made the case.