On average, New York City gets around 25 inches of snow each year, and this snow is often accompanied by ice that makes getting around much more challenging. Although slip-and-fall accidents due to ice are very common, their severity should not be minimized because of how devastating a person’s injuries can be.
Here’s an answer to the common question of “Can I sue by apartment complex for falling on ice?” so that you can get the legal help you need after a fall.
Common Injuries from Ice-Related Falls
There is no denying that ice is slippery and that people of any age and level of agility can fall while walking on ice. When sidewalks are not cleared of ice, they become very dangerous because ice is not always visible during winter storms. Common injuries that result from these falls include broken and fractured bones, concussions, muscle strains, and neck and back injuries from the sudden jolt of a fall.
When a Landlord or Apartment Complex Is at Fault
Landlords have certain responsibilities during the winter months, such as removing snow from sidewalks that are adjacent to their properties within four hours if the snow ceases after 7am and before 5pm. If the snow stops between 5pm and 9pm, landlords have 14 hours to clear it away. And if it stops between 9pm and 7am, the snow must be cleared by 11am the next day. Snow removal is very important because if it starts to melt and become liquid, that water could refreeze and turn into a dangerously icy situation.
If a landlord does not follow these New York City Department of Sanitation guidelines, he or she could be held liable for negligence. The lease you signed with your landlord may also dictate how snow removal must be done. A landlord or apartment complex may be liable for your accident if you or a neighbor provided notification about the icy condition and nothing was done for an unreasonable amount of time. Pursuing a successful case will require you and your attorney to prove that an icy condition existed, that the landlord or apartment complex knew about the condition, and that the responsible person failed to remedy it in a timely way.
What to Do After Your Slip-and-Fall Accident
Aside from taking care of your injuries and seeking treatment as soon as possible, it is important to collect as much evidence as possible after falling on ice at your apartment complex. Check your lease for any details about snow and ice removal and make copies of letters and emails that provide documentation about icy conditions. Make sure to take photos of the icy conditions before they melt, gather witness statements from other residents who also noticed the ice, and get copies of your medical records that document your accident-related injuries.
At this point, it’s a wise decision to call the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to help you with accident reconstruction, navigating insurance company offers, and proving that your landlord or apartment complex was to blame. If you have slipped and fallen on ice, contact us online or at 718-237-5586 for a free case review.