Typical Injuries in Ice Related Slip and Fall Accidents 

people on ice

Winters bring with them freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. Icy surfaces lead to an increase in slip and fall accidents. Older people are at a higher risk of experiencing severe injuries. These are a few common injuries which occur after falling on icy New York sidewalks or roads:

  • Knee damage
  • Broken or sprained wrists and ankles
  • Dislocated or fractured hips
  • Nerve damage
  • Back injuries
  • Paralysis or spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations, cuts and bruises
  • Traumatic brain injury

It is easy to fall on ice since it doesn’t allow you to regain balance and break the fall. It is common for a victim to fall on ice and injure a part of their body. They try to get up only to fall again and suffer secondary injuries. Jagged or broken ice can cause lacerations and cuts as well. 

Further, it can get difficult for you to protect your head because of slippery ice. Ice slips happen unexpectedly and quickly. Injured individual cannot regain balance or try and stop the fall. The injured party’s head may slam hard against ice in a severe slip and fall accident. This can cause traumatic brain injury or brain hemorrhage. 

It is expensive to live with a traumatic brain injury. You would need to pay for physical therapy, medical appointments, and in-home care (possibly). 

Establishing Liability in New York Slip and Fall Accidents

Individuals or businesses owning, leasing, occupying or controlling property have the legal responsibility to maintain that property. Property owners or managers that don’t keep a property reasonably safe can be held liable for injuries due to dangerous conditions. 

These property owners can be held liable for ice related slip and fall accidents occurring on their property:

  • Restaurant owners
  • Homeowners
  • Office building owners
  • Shopping mall owners
  • The City of New York
  • New York government agencies

What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?

snow on road

 

The first thing you need to do after a slip and fall accident is seek medical treatment. This is important even if you don’t feel that you have any serious injuries. Shock or adrenaline rush can mask pain or severity of injuries. It is best if you call an ambulance to the accident site. They are impartial medical professionals who will also document your injuries, the accident, and the accident site. 

You should take pictures of the accident site and your injuries too. This proves to be valuable evidence during insurance negotiations or trial. Timely photographs are vital since snow and ice conditions can quickly change. Landowners usually have 4 hours to remove snow and ice from their property following a snowstorm. They are responsible for making abutting sidewalks safe as well.

Images taken by cellphones have timestamps that can show the slippery and dangerous condition. It can be helpful in proving that the property owner or manager was negligent in their duty to ensure safe premises. Photographic evidence is key to attaining compensation for your injuries. 

Don’t throw away or clean the footwear you were wearing during the fall. You may need to produce it at some point. Also, keep a journal log of all your experiences related to the fall. Don’t forget to take down addresses of eyewitnesses. You don’t need to do more than this cursory investigation. Your attorney will take care of a more thorough and professional investigation. 

However, you need to take care that you don’t speak with anyone representing the insurance company. These representatives or insurance adjusters collect information to deny or reduce the claim. This is one of the reasons why you should not delay in getting touch with a qualified attorney. 

Accountability of Property Owners

All property owners are lawfully obligated to provide safe premises for everyone on their property. The term property includes:

  • Apartment buildings and complexes
  • Grocery stores, department stores, and small businesses among other retail stores
  • Office parks or office buildings
  • Shopping malls, event spaces, and entertainment spaces among other commercial properties

If you or a loved one was injured on another’s property because of snowy and icy conditions that caused the fall, the owner of the property may be responsible for the injuries. Property owners are responsible for injuries if they failed to adhere to standards held by any other reasonable person for preventing hazards. 

For instance, a property owner can be held liable if they fail to:

  • Clean up or shovel snow, or choose not to salt ice hazards within a reasonable amount of time once dangerous conditions arose.
  • Take steps for preparing for upcoming weather events, such as putting down mats.
  • Make adequate arrangements for somebody else to maintain the premises if they cannot.

A property owner or person responsible for maintaining the property can be held financially responsible for your injuries if their negligence resulted in your injuries. They can also made liable to pay for any resultant expenses. This may include lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. 

Recovering Maximum Compensation

You would need to prove certain elements in court for winning and obtaining compensation after being injured in a slip and fall accident on ice or snow. There are three components to a slip and fall injury that needs to be proven by the plaintiff:

  • The injured party would first need to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous conditions. For instance, if you slip and fell outside a restaurant, you would need to prove that the restaurant owner or manager knew that the entryway became icy and dangerous regularly during winter months.
  • The second thing you would have to prove is that the property owner did not correct the conditions or take adequate steps for making it less hazardous. For instance, you can make a property owner liable for your slip and fall injuries if they knew about the icy parking lot outside their store and failed to warn customers or de-ice it in time for business hours. 
  • Finally, you would also need to prove that your physical injury was a direct result of the dangerous icy conditions. Generally, this is done through an extensive medical evaluation. The extent of injuries is not known immediately most times because of shock. Comprehensive medical evaluation gives you a record of your injuries and increases your chances of acquiring maximum compensation. 

Preventing Snow and Ice Accidents in New York

Property owners need to make sure that all snow is removed from driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. They have a legal responsibility to ensure that snow piled on the side of driveways, sidewalks, and walkways is not piled in a way that can cause it to remelt and refreeze. This is an important responsibility since this can form black ice, which is highly dangerous for pedestrians and vehicles. 

Piling snow on the side of the driveway or sidewalk in a manner that increases the likelihood of black ice formation is more dangerous than doing nothing at all. Property owners and managers need to remember to spread rock salt after clearing snow to prevent the formation of black ice. 

Pedestrians need to take special care when venturing outside after a storm. They should wait as long as possible before stepping outside. Pedestrians should wear proper footwear and enough layers to protect themselves. People, when cold, tend to walk hurriedly. This is why it is important to dress warm. Pedestrians should use footwear with a thick rubber sole that makes it safe to walk on snow. 

It is important to remain vigilant at all times. Generally, slip and fall accidents because of snow and ice occur because the pedestrian faces a property with snow after walking past a few buildings where the snow was properly cleared. You may see the risk and try to tread carefully. However, because the ice is slippery you may fall and injure yourself. You should not delay in speaking with an attorney to understand your legal options. 

Consult with Capable Slip and Fall Attorneys Who Can Help Recover Damages for Snow and Ice Injuries

Taking quick action following an ice related slip and fall injury is essential. Sometimes, getting the best insurance settlements or succeeding in court boils down to gathering and presenting the best possible evidence. The team at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP are experienced and professional when it comes to investigation. 

We will gather vital evidence before the property owner can claim the icy sidewalk or curbside condition did not exist. Get in touch with a skilled slip and fall accident attorney today by calling at 1-866-496-1943 or using our

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