It’s the middle of winter in NYC, and despite the warmer weather these winter months, ice patches are bound to pop up. On the particularly colder mornings, seeing someone slip and fall on ice is a fairly normal occurrence. However, when an individual slips on ice and is seriously injured, someone may be liable for the injuries that the victim sustained. In this blog post, our NYC slip and fall attorneys will discuss some of the legal issues, and the possibility of a lawsuit, regarding ice-related slips and falls.
In the meantime, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the financial expenses associated with your injury, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of income from work, and more. For a free, no-obligation consultation with the NYC slip and fall attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier, call our Manhattan law firm today at (212) 777-9400.
Ice-Related Slip and Fall Lawsuits (Reasonable Duty of Care)
There is one major problem with ice-related slip and fall cases during NYC’s winter months. In short, the city and private business owners may throw salt or sand on icy areas, but after a storm or a very cold night, New Yorkers can reasonably expect natural snow and ice accumulation throughout the city. This reasonable expectation often shuts down a personal injury immediately.
The conditions after a storm or very cold weather are obvious to the public, but private property owners and government agencies still have a duty to take care of their premises to minimize the possibility of a fall. A property owner may be negligent in an ice-related slip and fall case when, for example, numerous people slipped on a chunk of ice outside of a building; seeing all those people fall, a reasonable property owner would take action to eliminate the hazard. If the owner doesn’t eliminate the hazard in this specific situation, and another person comes along, slips, and is injured, then that person may have a lawsuit regarding the gross negligence of the property owner.
As always, New York does follow a general “natural accumulation” idea, which says that if there is a natural accumulation of snow and ice, then the property owner might not be liable for the injuries you sustained.
Governmental Immunity in Ice-Related Slip and Fall Cases
You may be successful when filing an ice-related slip and fall lawsuit against a private property owner; however, winning a lawsuit against a public or governmental defendant may be much more difficult. This is because there are some legal immunities for public properties when the hazard was caused by natural conditions. Keep in mind that this immunity is not absolute, but it would take a gross situation to overcome it.
What You May Recover in a Successful Lawsuit
If you are successful in your slip and fall lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages that are associated with your injuries. As such, you may be able to recover medical expenses by suing the property owner or even the contractor who was tasked with removing the snow or ice. If your injuries caused you to miss work, you may also be able to ask for compensation for lost wages; for serious injuries that impact your future career, you can also ask for future earning capacity. Lastly, you may be able to ask for compensation that covers the pain and suffering you had to endure due to the injury.
Call the Attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
When injured in an ice-related slip and fall case, it’s essential to remember that you’ll need a very experienced attorney who not only understands the intricacies of New York personal injury law, but who also can successfully litigate against natural accumulation rules. Remember, ice-related slip and falls can be difficult, especially in the winter months, but this shouldn’t discourage you. If you were injured, you can get a free consultation to see if you have a case. For your free consultation with our experienced NYC slip and fall attorneys, call our Manhattan law office today at (212) 777-9400.