Avoiding Sidewalk Injuries While Cleaning Up After a Major Snow Storm

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The east coast just experienced one of the worst snow storms in history with record breaking amounts of snow in multiple states. New York City was only 0.1 of an inch from tying the highest snow total Central Park has ever seen. The snow may have stopped falling but the cleanup is continuing. While having a clear path to walk on the sidewalk is helpful at this time, it is also a responsibility for property owners or municipalities to remove snow and ice in an effort to protect the public from any type of slip and fall injury.

There are different rules and guidelines for snow removal depending on the type of property, who owns the property, whether it be a city or county, a business owner or a homeowner. In addition, the amount of snow that fell and when the snow stopped falling also factor into the cleanup. With this latest blizzard, NYC property owners were to have sidewalks clear by 11 a.m. the morning after the snow stopped to help avoid any sidewalk accidents.

Landlords, business owners and residents need to keep a few things in mind when moving snow off the sidewalk. The NYC Department of Sanitation mandates the following regarding snow removal:

  • When clearing a sidewalk, there must be enough room for a wheelchair or double stroller to get by.
  • Fire hydrants need to be accessible. Snow and ice are to be clear away by the property owner, not the city or fire department.
  • Snow cannot be piled in the street, gutters or crosswalks. Pedestrians should be able to cross the street at the corner with no snow obstruction. Covering up potential hazards on the sidewalk could easily lead to a trip and fall accident and injury for an unsuspecting person.

Trying to get around on foot after a major snow storm can be dangerous. Safety is a priority, as attempting to navigate large piles of snow and patches of ice can easily lead to a slip and fall injury. If you or someone you know has been injured in a snow or ice related sidewalk accident, please call the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C.,. We will work hard to give you every chance to get maximum compensation for your suffering due to someone else’s carelessness.