New York gets its fair share of snow and ice every winter. Most residents are pros at navigating snow-covered sidewalks and parking lots – but falls do happen.
You recently fell on the ice in a store parking lot and you feel like the store should pay for your injuries and losses. The manager says it’s your own fault for not wearing better boots.
Who has the liability? Here’s what you should know.
New York has snow and ice removal regulations
Naturally, property owners aren’t expected to chase snowflakes with their shovels in the middle of a storm, but they are clearly expected to do their part to prevent slips and falls.
New York City has some fairly specific laws on the subject. Property owners, tenants and managers of any building adjacent to a sidewalk have just four hours after a snowfall to begin to remove snow and ice from the walk and gutter. If the ice cannot be removed, the property’s owner or manager must use sawdust, sand, salt or another material that’s designed to either melt the ice or give traction.
In other words, don’t let a property owner or manager bully you into believing that you’re at fault for your own slip-and-fall accident when they weren’t keeping up with their obligations. More than likely, they’re hoping that you’ll abandon your claim so that it doesn’t negatively affect their insurance – or they may be trying to deflect some of the blame to you and your choice of footwear in order to reduce their liability.
Every case is fact-specific, so it may be wise to get an experienced take on the viability of your claim.