Storm Warning – Slip and Fall Cases of Premises Liability
Storm Warning Slip and Fall Cases of Premises Liability
Weather forecasts can be dismal and sometimes frightening, especially when we hear that dreaded word "N'oreaster", we all know what snow and ice can do to sidewalks and streets and how even if you are careful you can slip and fall and get seriously injured.
If you are unlucky enough to be injured, there are some things you should know to protect your rights so that you can bring a premises liability case lawsuit to recover money damages for your injuries.
Landowners have the obligation to keep their property reasonably safe and clean. Not too long ago, the City of New York changed the law to make abutting landowners responsible for the maintenance of their sidewalks. It used to be that if you didn't clean your sidewalk you might be subject to a fine, but that didn't necessarily make you responsible to someone who was injured. However, you should still be careful because this law only extends to a certain class of property owners such as commercial enterprises. The City of New York may still be responsible in certain instances for the maintenance of a sidewalk. In that case, before you can bring a lawsuit against the City you must have first filed a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident. This is a fairly strict requirement and you would be well advised to immediately contact attorneys who have experience in handling these cases to make sure you have protected your rights.
Once you get past making sure you have complied with all procedural requirements, there are other difficulties. What if your accident occurs during the first hour of a four-hour storm when the snow accumulates another two feet before it stops? The Courts have adopted a defense for a landowner called the "Storm in Progress" defense, which means pretty much what it says that in many circumstances a landowner need not clear out a sidewalk from snow or ice until the storm is over. However, like all kinds of rules in law there can be nuances; for example, what if you slip during a storm on ice from a previous storm that was never cleared? What if the storm stops long enough for people to go out and then another storm starts later? And what if a landowner in clearing out the snow only makes it worse by leaving a sheet of ice? Get to premises liability attorneys that know what they are doing. Don't slip up twice.