Were you injured in a slip and fall accident caused by ice or snow? Are you dealing with painful injuries, costly medical bills, and other unexpected expenses? In some instances, you might be eligible to seek compensation from a property owner if the buildup of snow and ice was not adequately identified and addressed or if they did not warn you of the hazards you encountered.
It can be challenging to prove liability for a variety of reasons. The property owner, naturally, has no control over the weather. If you venture outside when the ground is covered with snow and ice, there is a reasonable expectation that you will be aware of the risks you might face.
Still, property owners are expected to address or at least warn guests of snow and ice on their property. If they fail to do this, it might be possible to hold them liable for any damages you incur, such as medical expenses, lost wages, damage to your personal property, and pain and suffering.
If you have been injured after slipping and falling on ice, and you believe that the property owner’s negligence contributed to the accident, contact the slip and fall accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free consultation. We will review the details of the accident, help you determine whether you have a case, and discuss your legal options going forward.
Contact our experienced attorneys today for a free, no-risk consultation.
Property Owners Have a Duty to Mitigate Snow and Ice Hazards
In New York, as in all states, property owners are required to maintain their property, whether it be a home or a business, in a manner that prevents guests from being injured. Suppose a property owner knows about a specific hazard or reasonably should have known about a particular hazard and fails to eliminate or warn guests of the danger. In that case, that may constitute a breach of their reasonable duty of care.
The important word here is “reasonable.” It’s not always possible for property owners to anticipate certain risks to guests. For instance, if there’s a blizzard hovering over New York City, property owners may not reasonably be able to keep their property free of risks at all times. To determine whether you have a case, our attorneys may review your case to determine whether the property owner had a reasonable amount of time to become aware of the hazard and to eliminate or warn guests about it.
How To Prove Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
To prove that a property owner was negligent, it is critical to consult with an attorney. A slip and fall accident attorney will have the knowledge and resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the accident and gather evidence to support your claim.
Some common types of evidence that can be used to help prove your claim include:
- Photo evidence – If you can take photos of the scene of the accident, an injury lawyer could use them to help verify your claim. Take pictures from various angles, including wide shots and close-ups of the hazard that caused you to fall. Do this as soon as possible since snow and ice can melt within a relatively short time frame. You should also consider taking photos of your injuries.
- Witness testimony – If anyone witnessed the accident, your attorney might get a statement from them. Witnesses can provide an objective view of what happened, and if they can corroborate your testimony, that will significantly strengthen your case.
An attorney will use the evidence they gather to demonstrate that the property owner was liable. To prove liability, you must show:
- The property owner had a reasonable duty of care to keep the premises safe for guests.
- The property owner breached their duty of care by failing to eliminate a hazard or failing to disclose the danger to guests.
- The property owner’s negligence caused you to slip and fall.
- The slip and fall accident directly caused your injuries.
Demonstrating liability in a slip and fall case can be challenging if ice caused the accident, which is why it is vital to consult with an attorney. Your attorney will need to gather ample evidence to demonstrate that the property owner had a reasonable amount of time to recognize and eliminate the hazard.
Compensation for a Slip and Fall Accident
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident that occurred due to snow or ice, and you can prove that the property owner breached their reasonable duty of care to keep the premises safe, you could be entitled to recover compensation.
Compensation is designed to help you pay for expenses related to the accident, including but not limited to:
- Present and future medical expenses resulting from the accident, including hospital bills, physical therapy expenses, surgery costs, prescription medication expenses, and more.
- Lost earnings if you are unable to work for some time due to the accident.
- Damage to personal property, such as a pair of eyeglasses that were damaged in the fall
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, in rare cases
Because it is difficult to prove liability in slip and fall accidents involving slipping on ice, you may have difficulty negotiating with the property owner’s insurance company. Our attorneys can step in and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, which will improve your chances of getting the settlement you deserve.
Contact a New York Slip and Fall Lawyer
If you were injured in a slip and fall on ice in New York, contact an experienced winter slip and fall accident lawyer at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free consultation to discuss your case and review your legal options.