Winters in Upstate New York: What You Need To Know About Slip And Fall Accidents
Everyone knows that the winters in Upstate New York can be treacherous for both driving and walking. When you slip and fall on ice, the injuries can be very serious and threaten your ability to earn a living and enjoy your life. If you are one of the truly unlucky, it will involve possible surgery and having to miss work for an extended period of time. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury from a slip and fall on ice due to someone else’s negligence, you need to find an attorney who specializes in premises liability to protect your rights. Someone with experience. Someone who can evaluate your case and your injuries, so as to advise you on what your best course of action is so you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
If a property owner or business doesn’t maintain their premises properly, there can be a build up of snow and ice, which creates an hazardous condition that increases the risk for a slip, trip or fall due to that hazardous condition. In numerous municipalities in New York State, both the city and individual landowners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice. If the property owner doesn’t clear the snow and ice away from their sidewalk, it becomes increasingly more difficult for a person trying to get where they are going while passing by or through their property. To take it a step further, the property owner must undertake a “reasonable” effort to clear the property. The act of just throwing some salt down on an unshoveled sidewalk is clearly not “reasonable”. They must make sure that the walking surface is free and clear of snow and ice and is a safe surface for the person attempting to cross. There are numerous municipalities in New York that set very specific time frames for landowners to clean their walkways following the end of any type of winter storm, including snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc.
In order to prove negligence on the part of a landowner who did not properly maintain their sidewalk, your attorney must prove that the landowner did not take “reasonable” care to clear the sidewalk. Some may ask, “what is reasonable care?” Reasonable care is the level of care that a prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. An example would be that after a snow storm, a business owner would send an employee out to shovel the walkway into the store so it is free of snow and then put rock salt down to ensure there is no ice that accumulated under the snow. This is done so a slip free walking surface has been achieved.
What do we have to show to prove the landowner or business was negligent? We will have to prove the landowner or business owed a duty to you to exercise reasonable care. That they breached that duty by not maintaining their sidewalks. That there was actual or constructive notice to the landowner or business that the hazardous condition existed. That the injuries you sustained were caused directly and proximately caused by the landowner’s or business’ breach of the duty owed to you.
If you were to slip and fall on someone else’s property there are a few things you can do to ensure you preserve the evidence needed to prove your case. You should report the accident immediately to the landowner or business. You should take your own photographs of the hazardous condition, as the weather changes rapidly and that same patch of ice may not be there the next day. You should have the person to whom you reported the incident fill out an accident report. Having these things will ensure that vital information is preserved and it can be used to help prove your case.
Once we are able to prove all of the elements of your case, it then becomes our job to help you receive the most compensation possible. In most cases we are able to recover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and any other related expenses that have been incurred because of your injury. Here at Passalacqua and Associates, we realize each of our clients are different and have different needs, but each client receives the attention they deserve when their rights are being protected. We will investigate your case and come up with a strategy that will put you in the best position to get your life back in order after a debilitating injury. Our attorneys and staff have the experience that is needed to find the people responsible for your accident and hold them accountable.
To discuss your case in more detail, please call us at 315-500-NICK (6425) or contact us through our online chat at www.CNYTRIALLAW.com