Colder, blustery winter weather will not stop New York City pedestrians. People are always on the move. Sidewalks are a crucial element of New York City infrastructure. People rely on them to get to their jobs or to the corner store when they need groceries.
The city has sidewalks through most neighborhoods that allow for quick and direct routes to most locations. Unfortunately, when winter hits, sidewalks can be extremely dangerous. Slip-and-falls can easily occur because of accumulated snow and ice on sidewalks across the city. Pedestrians who are injured in a fall while walking on icy or snowy sidewalks may have the right to hold property owners accountable.
Property owners have maintenance requirements
Although the city installs sidewalks, for the most part, it does not maintain them. New York City requires that property owners maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their property. Homeowners and businesses alike have an obligation to keep sidewalks passable. Depending on the time of day when the snow stops falling, property owners may have as little as four hours to clear the snow and ice in order to comply with local law.
Those who fail to remove ice and snow open themselves up to the possibility of insurance claims or civil litigation should someone slip and fall and suffer an injury. A fall on an icy patch of sidewalk could lead to broken bones or even a brain injury. The person who falls could miss days or weeks of work and have thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Filing a premises liability lawsuit may be a reasonable response to a slip-and-fall that occurred because of improper sidewalk maintenance in New York City. Getting legal guidance can help you determine whether you have a case.