Slips and falls on ice and snow can be serious problems in New York. Every year, thousands of people suffer serious or catastrophic injuries from falling on icy sidewalks, parking lots, and other outdoor or indoor areas. In some cases, these accidents are caused by the negligence of a property owner who fails to take proper precautions. When this happens, those injured may be eligible to seek compensation from the responsible party. Therefore, it is vital to understand your rights and legal options if you’re hurt during the winter because of someone’s inaction.
The Dangers of Slips and Falls on Ice or Snow
Slipping and falling on ice or snow can result in serious or life-threatening injuries.
Types of harm resulting from these accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Broken bones,
- Sprains, and
- Torn ligaments.
While some of these injuries might heal without medical attention, others can require long-term treatment or corrective surgery. Seeking medical care right away is extremely important, even if the harm doesn’t seem serious initially.
Pursuing Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents can lead to economic and non-economic damages. The cost of medical care can be expensive. Additionally, you might have to miss work to receive treatment and recover, resulting in lost wages. Beyond the monetary harm, you might suffer a great deal emotionally and mentally.
If your slip and fall occurred on property where the owner was negligent, you might be able to seek compensation for the damages you sustained, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain/suffering. Essentially, negligence means that the property owner owes you a duty of care, but their actions fell below expected standards.
More specifically, property owners must address any hazards on the premises timely. That means if they were aware of a dangerous condition that could result in harm to others, they should either fix the problem or notify visitors of its existence.
Proving negligence requires providing evidence that the property owner breached their duty of care. Through eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, and other proof.
Thus, after your slip and fall accident, it is vital that you do the following:
- See a doctor immediately: A doctor can do a full workup, assess the extent of your injuries, and recommend medical treatment. Their report and the care you receive will be one of the primary factors in determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
- Get witness information: If anyone saw the accident, get their name and phone number. These individuals may be called upon to provide an account of what happened and support your story.
- Report the incident: Let the property owner know that you slipped and fell on ice or snow on the premises.
- Record the scene and your injuries: Capture images of the accident scene. As time goes on, the conditions of the accident location might change, but if you have photos and videos, you can show what things were like when you slipped and fell. It’s also critical that you get pictures of your injuries, as it will be difficult to fully understand the extent of the harm you suffered once it heals.
- Preserve evidence: Keep clothing and other personal items damaged during the accident.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Accidents
Slips and falls on ice or snow are serious and can easily result in painful injuries. Before you stumble out into the cold, take precautions to protect yourself.
Below are some of the things you can do to avoid an accident on ice or snow:
- Wear shoes appropriate for the weather
- Pay attention to your surroundings, looking out for potential hazards
- Take your time, shorten your stride and walk slowly
- Hold onto handrails when using stairs
How an Attorney Can Assist with Your Case
After a slip and fall, it can be hard to know what to do. That’s where an attorney can help. A lawyer familiar with personal injury law can explain your rights and courses of action. They can also analyze evidence to determine fault and build compelling arguments. When pursuing compensation, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company or present your case in court.
Allow our New York lawyers at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy to evaluate your case. Contact us at (518) 284-3183 today.