Snow and ice is everywhere. So now is the time to think about how to avoid slip and fall accidents, and what to do if you become a slip and fall accident victim.
If you own a home, a business, construction site, or even a vacant plot of land, YOU may be responsible for clearing all the snow and ice from any abutting sidewalk, parking lot, or walkway, even if you don’t reside there, or never even visit. It may still be your duty under the local laws of the city/town/village where the property is located (if you don’t know, you should find out, immediately).
That means you need to completely shovel, and then put down some type of ice melt product. And you need to re-inspect all the areas you cleared on a daily basis to make sure there is no melting or dripping from above that then re-freezes when the temperatures fluctuate. If you fail to take these steps, you may be liable for a slip and fall accident on your property.
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, please do the following right away:
1. Get the full names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
2. Figure out the street address of the property where you fell.
3. Call an ambulance to pick you up from the accident scene, and get the medical treatment you need. This will also serve as good documentation of the accident and your injuries.
4. IMPORTANT – Have a trusted friend or relative take photographs of the snow and ice condition that caused your fall as soon as possible (close shots, as well as ones that are far enough away that they show the abutting property). If you can, you should even take the photos yourself before leaving the scene. One day the property owner may try to argue that there was no snow/ice there, or that he/she put down ice melt, etc. But the photographs won’t lie.
5. Call a lawyer experienced in slip and fall accidents, such as Siegel & Coonerty, at (212) 532-0532.
Good luck, walk carefully, and stay safe throughout this dangerous season.