This season's record snowfalls up and down the Eastern Seaboard and interior New York serve as a reminder that winter weather can make living and working in New York City treacherous at best. Several states east of the Mississippi have already recorded the most snowfall ever in November (with Upstate New York receiving up to seven feet of snow in some places) While many of the injuries and deaths this season have been caused either by roof collapses or automobile accidents on slick roadways, improperly cleared sidewalk are just as dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, snow and ice covered sidewalk accidents in New York (most typically slip and fall accidents) contribute to one of the top 10 causes of emergency room visits in the Big Apple-sprains and broken bones.
You may think that such accidents are minor and cause only temporary setbacks. However, a study by Time magazine shows that an average ER visit costs more than a month's income for most individuals. Worse yet, at-risk populations such as the elderly are more apt to fall, more apt to be injured, and least able to cope with such extraordinary expenses.
In New York, the owners of apartment and office buildings along with homeowners of larger than three families are responsible for clearing the adjacent sidewalks in a timely fashion after the snow falls. In fact, most sidewalks, walkways, and building entrances in NYC are required to be cleared by the property owner within 4 hours after the last flake falls. There are a few exceptions for overnight storms and such but if a property owner fails to clear away snow and ice buildup they may be liable for any injuries pedestrians suffer on their property or the adjacent sidewalk.
If you or a loved one has slipped and fallen on an improperly cleared snowy or icy sidewalk , contact a New York City sidewalk accident attorney immediately to discuss the legal options available to you. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.