In New York, slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes for injury. The number of those accidents dramatically increases in the winter months. By how much? In recent weeks New York emergency rooms have seen a 300 percent increase in winter-related injuries (most from slip and fall accidents involving ice and snow covered surfaces)-well over four hundred during the last week of January and first week of February alone. The danger is so bad that the New York Times ran yet another article warning New Yorkers about the hazards of icy streets, sidewalks, stairwells, and walkways.
The ER at the New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope saw four slip and fall injuries within as many hours on a normally quiet Thursday morning. Some were literally treating two patients at the same time. Many of these injuries involve the hand, wrist, or arm. “The natural instinct is to try to break your fall by putting out your hands,” Dr. Michael Hausman told the Times. Unfortunately the upper extremities weren’t designed to withstand the force of a falling body-especially at a difficult angle. Dr. Hasuman went on to say that in the past few weeks at Mount Sinai Hospital he’s personally treated six broken wrists.
While the elderly are at higher risk of significant injury, reports from ERs across the city show no one is safe when conditions are as bad as they have been in the past few weeks. School children, middle-aged businesspeople, and older individuals have all been spotted in ERS after slip and fall accidents in New York this past month.
However, a significant factor in all of these accidents is the presence of ice and snow on pedestrian walkways. In NYC, either the owner of the adjacent building or the City (depending on the kind of building adjacent to the uncleared sidewalk) is responsible for clearing away hazards like snow or ice from the sidewalk. In public areas (such as parks) the City itself is responsible.
If you’ve been injured in such an accident, contact a slip and fall attorney in New York immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.