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What if you slip and fall on a sidewalk or in a parking lot?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | Personal injury

From late fall until mid-spring, New York will see plenty of ice, snow, sleet and slush. Obviously, you will need to adjust your driving habits to account for the risks created by snowy and slushy conditions. 

You could very easily focus so much on the roads that you ignore the possibility of getting hurt while out for a walk with your dog or while running errands. Icy parking lots and snowy sidewalks are a hazard for pedestrians across New York during the colder months of the year. People can fall and injure their brains, end up struck by oncoming traffic or break bones when they slip on icy sidewalks or fall in parking lots. 

Do you have any rights if you slip and fall on snowy or icy pavement outside of a business or someone else’s home? 

Businesses should clear their parking lots

For a business to minimize its risk of a premises liability claim, it will need to proactively keep its spaces clean, safe and accessible. Provided that the business is open, it should make efforts to remove snow and ice as it accumulates.  

Failing to remove ice and snow from a parking is a known safety hazard. Given that a reasonable person would recognize how an icy or snowy parking lot put someone at risk of a slip-and-fall injury, you could potentially hold the business accountable by filing a premises liability insurance claim or a lawsuit against the business. 

Property owners should maintain their sidewalks

New York has clear rules regarding the obligation of property owners to maintain sidewalks. If you are out for a jog in a residential neighborhood and slip on the sidewalk next to someone’s home, the property owner will very likely be liable, which means that their homeowner’s insurance may pay your costs. 

You could potentially request compensation for lost wages and any medical expenses you have because of the slip-and-fall incident, as well as property damage expenses, such as the cost to repair your phone after you fall, from the homeowner’s or business’s insurance company. Understanding what state law requires of property owners can help you determine if you have grounds for a premises liability claim when you slip on ice or snow and get hurt on someone else’s property.