Icy Surfaces and Slip and Fall Accidents

By Michael London on February 26, 2019

Snow and ice on stairsThe first day of spring is on March 20th, but we have a fair amount of wet and snowy weather in store in New York, NY for a while. In the next 10 days, New Yorkers will be facing chilly weather, possible rain, and freezing temperatures as well. These are all a recipe for icy conditions and slip and fall accidents that can cause serious injury. Anyone harmed in such an incident can turn to attorneys Gary J. Douglas and Michael A. London for help.

The legal team at Douglas & London would like to consider your legal rights and options following a slip and fall accident caused by icy surfaces. We’ll note who is liable if an accident occurs and what legal damages may be sought.

Causes of Icy Surfaces

The most common causes of icy walkways and surfaces are:

  • Snow - Snow and cold weather can lead to icy surfaces forming when the snow and remaining moisture is not cleared away.
  • Rain - Rain that remains in place overnight in freezing temperatures can turn to ice in the morning, presenting a dangerous slipping hazard.
  • Blocked Gutters - When gutters become frozen or blocked up, water from the gutter can trickle down to floors and surfaces where it can freeze.
  • Clogged Drains - When drains are frozen or clogged, moisture around it cannot be removed from the area, resulting in icy conditions.
  • Standing Puddles - When there are no drains and moisture is not mopped or cleared from a floor, it can turn into ice and become a much greater slipping hazard.

The Duty of Property Owners

Property owners and any renters who are responsible for the proper maintenance and upkeep of a property could be held legally liable for injuries related to a slip and fall accident. This is why property owners must be diligent about shoveling snow and ice from their properties so people may pass safely without a risk of slipping or falling.

Salt can also be used to help lower the freezing point of the accumulates snow or water. This means that the snow will melt at 32° Fahrenheit rather than turning into ice. This reduces slipping and falling risk and makes clearing the snow and water away much easier.

Icy Conditions on Public Sidewalks

If there are icy conditions on a public sidewalk, a property owner may not be held accountable for someone who slips. The property owner does not own the sidewalk outside of their home, and technically does not have a legal responsibility for people who slip there.

However, this can be a much different matter when dealing with sidewalks around businesses and business property as opposed to residential areas. This is why it worthwhile to consider speaking with a lawyer about your case.

Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents

Injuries sustained after a hard slip and fall can vary in severity. Sometimes people suffer from bumps and bruises, though it’s also possible to experience a sprains, cuts, a concussion, broken bones, and more serious kinds of trauma depending on the nature of the fault. For example, a fall on an icy floor may be dangerous, but a fall down an icy flight of stairs or from the ledge of a property could be deadly.

Damages in a Premises Liability Lawsuit

When seeking damages in premises liability cases, attorneys will help clients seek compensatory damages and in some cases punitive damages. Compensatory damages will cover material losses associated with an accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and lost future earnings. Punitive damages, by comparison, will financially punish the negligent party for the injury that they have caused or contributed to.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal rights an options after a slip and fall accident, be sure to contact an experienced injury accident attorney. The team at Douglas & London is here to help. You can reach our law office by phone at (212) 566-7500.

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