Winter storms can turn any New York City sidewalk into a sheet of ice or a slippery slush-coated slide. Regardless of how careful you are, slip and fall accidents do occur. Falling on an icy sidewalk can result in serious injuries, pain and suffering, and significant lost time from work.
When such a serious slip and fall injury happens, the last thing on your mind may be seeking financial compensation for your injury. But if you’re out of work for an extended period of time; require hospitalization or other medical intervention, it’s only right that the party responsible for your fall compensate you.
Who Is Responsible for Falls on Icy Sidewalks on New York City?
New York City is somewhat unique in the way it determines liability for slip and fall accidents on snowy and icy city sidewalks. The responsibility for failing to remove snow and ice can fall to the owner of the adjacent property or the New York City.
For instance, if you slip and fall on a snowy or icy sidewalk in front of a store, the owner of that store may be liable for your injuries. On the other hand, if you slip on a piece of sidewalk adjacent to a City park or other publically owned property, the City of New York may be the liable party.
The City Sidewalk “Rule” and its Exceptions
The “new” sidewalk rule which includes accidents caused by the failure to properly clear the snow and ice from a sidewalk holds the adjacent property owner primarily responsible if the property houses a building greater than three stories. This typically includes apartment and office buildings. In contrast, properties with only one, two and three family dwellings are not included in the new law. However, these smaller buildings lose their exemption when part of the premises is either used commercially; not used exclusively for residential purposes or is not owner occupied. Smaller buildings, even if they are only one story, such as, Houses of Worship and factories won’t be exempt from the new law because the building is not being used exclusively for residential purposes.
As you can see, determining who is responsible for injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents on New York City’s snow-covered and icy sidewalks can be confusing. If you’ve been injured, contact a New York City slip and fall accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of the City Administrative Code. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.