We’re getting close to the holiday season. New York City is a huge place, and home to some of the biggest department stores, toy stores, and shops. Also, New York’s winters are harsh and icy. The risk of a slip and fall accident on an icy and crowded sidewalk, or in a store during this time is huge.
You can be careful and watch your step, but all it takes a slippery floor, icy or wet street, and you can easily fall and injure yourself.
Losing balance while carrying several bags is quite common. So, what can you do to avoid slip and fall accidents in the upcoming holiday season?
If you fell and injured yourself in a store or even on the street, seek medical help and contact a New York slip and fall attorney.
New York City Demands Removing Ice from Sidewalks
No matter how good your shoes are, the soles aren’t able to gain traction when the sidewalks are icy. This is how most slip and fall accidents occur. If you were injured because of an icy sidewalk in New York, you might be worried that you can’t seek any compensation claim, because who will you blame for the winter and the ice?
However, according to New York City’s Administrative Code, every property owner is responsible for removing ice and snow from sidewalks within a certain specified time. This is to reduce and prevent slip and fall accidents. The Code states that the sidewalk must be cleared or de-iced within four hours if snowfall ended between 7 a.m and 5 p.m. It should be cleared within 14 hours if snowfall ended between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. And finally, it should be cleared by 11 a.m. if snowfall stopped between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Legal Options for New York Slip and Falls
If a property owner doesn’t clear the snow, they’ll face fines from the city (it’s a violation of the code). So, if a slip and fall accident occurs because a property owner didn’t salt the sidewalk or didn’t clear the snow, the victim can file a legal claim under premises liability theory. Premises liability asks owners to act reasonably in preventing dangerous conditions on their property.
If a department store fails to remove ice from its sidewalk, which can be the reason for window shoppers to slip and fall on the ice, the store may be responsible for the injuries if they were aware of the ice and didn’t take steps to correct the situation.
How to Avoid Falling on Ice While Shopping
The winter days shouldn’t prevent you to go out and enjoy while shopping for presents. However, you should be careful. Here are several ways you can avoid slip and fall accidents.
Walk slowly and keep your balance (low center of gravity). Wear suitable winter shoes, that are made to tackle snow and ice. Your shoes’ sole should be textured well so the grip on ice is strong.
Watch your step; if you notice patches of ice, avoid them. If the day is cold or snowy, postpone your shopping for a different day.
If you notice any ice in front of a store, report that to the owner.
Should You Hire a Lawyer If You Get Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
Yes, you should. If you have fallen on an icy sidewalk or lost your balance on a wet floor in a store, don’t hesitate to seek legal help from a slip and fall attorney. Once your lawyer reviews your case, you may learn that you may be eligible for a compensation claim. Your attorney can help you file a lawsuit and seek a settlement for your damages.
If the property owner knew about the ice or snow on the sidewalk, or inside their store, and they didn’t do anything to clean it, they may be liable for your injuries.
Although slip and fall accidents may seem like nothing serious, they can be the reason for terrible injuries (bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries). Even if you feel well, make sure you get a medical exam.
Here at Cellino Law our team of attorneys will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf while you’re recovering from your injuries. If it’s necessary, your case may even get to trial, where we’ll do our best to get you the compensation you deserve.
For every question you have, we’re here for you. We’ll review your case for free.