Slip & Fall on Ice. Can You Sue and Who is Liable? By Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP on March 12, 2024

slip and fall lawyer

Are the Property Owners Liable For a Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow?

Whether a property owner is liable for a slip and fall on ice in New York depends on several factors, but it generally boils down to the concept of premises liability. This legal principle states that property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors, including taking reasonable steps to address hazards like ice and snow.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • The property owner's awareness of the hazard: The owner must have known about the ice, or should have known about it through reasonable inspections and maintenance practices.
  • The reasonableness of taking preventative measures: The owner must have failed to take reasonable steps to address the ice, such as shoveling, salting, or sanding. This includes considering the time elapsed since the snowfall and the severity of the weather conditions.
  • The visitor's own conduct: The visitor's own actions can also play a role in determining liability. For example, if the visitor was acting negligently or ignoring clear warnings about the ice, their claim might be weakened.

Is the Municipality Liable for a Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow?

In New York, municipalities typically bear responsibility for maintaining public sidewalks, meaning they can be liable for slip and fall accidents on ice that occur on these walkways. However, it's not a straightforward answer, and several factors come into play:

  • Specific location: While municipalities are generally responsible for public sidewalks, there might be exceptions depending on the location. For instance, some areas might have specific agreements shifting responsibility to other entities like building owners adjacent to the sidewalk.
  • Knowledge of the hazard: The municipality must have known about the icy condition or should have known about it through reasonable inspections and maintenance practices.
  • Reasonableness of taking action: Similar to property owners, the municipality has a duty to take reasonable steps to address the ice, like salting or sanding. This considers factors like the time elapsed since snowfall and the severity of the weather conditions.

What Legal Options do I Have if I Slip and Fall on Ice or Snow?

If you slip and fall on ice in New York and sustain injuries, you have several potential legal options, however insurance companies might try to deny or minimize your claim, and the settlement offered might not fully cover your damages.

You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party, whether it's a property owner, a business, or a municipality.

This option involves hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you in court and navigate the legal process.

A lawsuit can potentially lead to a larger settlement.

Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall on Ice

Here are the recommended steps to take after a slip and fall on ice in New York:

1. Ensure your safety:

  • Assess your injuries: Check for any immediate injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the pain seems minor, getting a doctor's evaluation is crucial to document your injuries and rule out any potential complications.
  • Move to a safe location: If possible, carefully move yourself to a safe location away from the ice or potential hazards.

2. Document the scene:

  • Take pictures and videos: Capture photos and videos of the location where you fell, including the ice, surrounding conditions, and any visible hazards that might have contributed to the fall.
  • Note the date and time of the fall: Documenting the exact time and date of the incident is essential for creating a clear record of events.

3. Gather information:

  • Identify witnesses: If anyone witnessed the fall, ask for their contact information.
  • Report the incident: If the fall occurred on private property, report the incident to the property owner or manager. If it happened on public property, report it to the appropriate municipal authority. Request a copy of the report for your records.
  • Keep the clothing and shoes you were wearing: These items might be considered evidence, so avoid washing or discarding them until instructed otherwise by your attorney.

4. Seek legal advice:

  • Consult with a personal injury attorney: An attorney experienced in slip and fall cases in New York can advise you on your legal rights and options. They can help you navigate the process, gather necessary evidence, and potentially pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Additional Tips:

  • Avoid making statements: Do not discuss the details of the incident with anyone except your attorney or medical professional.
  • Keep records: Maintain copies of all medical bills, receipts, and other documents related to the accident and your injuries.
  • Be patient: The legal process can take time. Be patient and cooperate with your attorney as they work on your case.

Remember, this information is for general knowledge only and does not constitute legal advice. Consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney is crucial for understanding your specific rights and maximizing your chances of a successful outcome in your case.

Contact the White Plains Slip and Fall Personal Injury Lawyers at Worby Vecchio Edelman

Call us, at (914) 686-3700, if you have been injured in a fall down accident, or in any type of accident.  We’ll get all the facts, and we’ll let you know if we think you have a case.  We offer a free, no obligation consultation, and we only charge a fee if we recover money for you.  We prepare each case as if it will go to trial and we won't settle for a cent less than you deserve.


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Suffering a personal injury on the job, in a medical facility, at home, or in public can be emotionally and physically devastating. The personal injury lawyers at Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP in White Plains, New York, can handle virtually any type of personal injury claim, including construction and workplace accidentsmotor vehicle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

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