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Bronx Slip and Fall on Snow Lawyer


Did Snow or Ice Cause You To Fall?

Taking a fall on snow or ice can really hurt. Learn some of the basic things you need to know about the law covering slip and fall accidents that happen on snow and ice to help you win your case.

Slipping on snow and ice is caused by the lack of friction. Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another. It is crucial for maintaining our balance while walking. The amount of friction depends on the nature of both the surface and sole of the shoe.

Ice is extremely slippery because it has a low coefficient of friction compared to other surfaces like concrete or grass. This low friction means there is less resistance against the movement of your feet, making it easier to lose your balance and slip.

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When you step on ice, especially with a relatively warm shoe, you slightly increase the temperature of the ice’s surface. This can cause a very thin layer of the ice to melt, forming a thin layer of water. This layer reduces friction even further, as water is an excellent lubricant.

The pressure exerted by your weight on the ice can also cause a thin layer to melt. Ice under pressure has a lower melting point, and the pressure of a step can be enough to turn solid ice into a liquid layer, again reducing friction.

Snow can either increase or decrease the risk of slipping. Fresh, fluffy snow might provide more traction than a smooth icy layer. However, packed snow or partially melted and refrozen snow can be as slippery as ice. When walking on a slippery surface, the body’s natural balance mechanism can be thrown off. If the foot slips forward, for instance, the body’s center of gravity is displaced. As a result, we instinctively try to correct our balance, often leading to overcorrection and falling.

How Does Snow Form?

Snow begins in clouds when temperatures are below freezing. Water vapor in the clouds condenses directly into ice, bypassing the liquid phase. This happens because the air is cold enough that water vapor turns into ice crystals. These ice crystals collide with other supercooled water droplets in the clouds. These droplets, which are liquid water below the freezing point, freeze upon contact with the ice crystals. This process causes the ice crystals to grow and eventually form snowflakes.

As snowflakes grow heavier, they begin to fall toward the ground. The shape and size of the snowflakes are influenced by the atmospheric conditions they pass through, such as air temperature and humidity. If the temperature from the cloud to the ground is at or below freezing, the snowflakes will reach the ground as snow. However, if the temperature in some layers of the atmosphere is above freezing, the snowflakes can melt and turn into rain or sleet before reaching the ground.

How Does Ice Form on a Sidewalk?

Ice forms on sidewalks when the temperature drops to or below the freezing points of water (0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit). This can occur overnight or during cold weather spells. For the ice to form, there must be moisture on the sidewalk. This moisture can come from various sources such as melting snow, rain, or even humidity in the air.

Often, ice on sidewalks is the result of melted snow or water that refreezes. This can happen when temperatures fluctuate, causing snow to melt during the warmer part of the day, and then freeze as temperatures drop again. Sidewalks, being exposed and often made of concrete or asphalt, lose heat quickly and can become much colder than the air above them. This facilitates the freezing of any moisture present.

Activities like clearing snow from the sidewalk can expose the surface to moisture, which then freezes. Additionally, factors like dripping water from roofs or downspouts can contribute to ice formation on sidewalks. The formation of ice on sidewalks is a process often influenced by both natural and human factors.

When Does Snow and Ice Need To Be Removed?

An owner’s obligation to clear snow and ice does not begin until after it stops snowing. As a result, an owner is generally not responsible if it was actually snowing when the fall occurred. This is known as the “storm in progress” doctrine. As a result, if you fell while it was snowing, your case will probably be dismissed under this doctrine.

Once it has stopped snowing, however, an owner is required to clear snow and ice within a “reasonable period of time.” Whether the time taken is “reasonable” depends on several factors. These includes: the location of the snow and ice; the amount of people you might expect to be walking in the area; the time of the day or night it stopped snowing; as well as other issues that might make delay more or less dangerous. If the accident happened in New York City, the Administrative Code provides that an owner can usually wait up to 4 hours after it stops snowing before beginning to clear snow.

Can You Bring a Claim If you Fall While It is Still Snowing?

The “Storm in Progress” doctrine is an important legal concept in New York personal injury law. The doctrine provides that property owners and managers are not responsible for accidents and injuries occurring as a result of snow and ice that accumulates during an ongoing storm, or a reasonable time thereafter. The rationality behind this doctrine is that it is unreasonable to expect property owners to clear snow and ice while snow is still falling.

Liability generally does not arise until a reasonable time after the storm has ended. This period allows property owners to safely clear snow and ice. What constitutes a “reasonable time” for snow and ice removal after a storm can vary depending on the circumstances, such as the severity of the storm, the time of day it ends, and the resources available to the property owner.

Determining whether the storm is in progress can be complex. Courts often refer to meteorological data and weather reports to establish the timing and severity of the storm. Also, while the doctrine provides a general defense, there are exceptions. For instance, if a condition that caused the slip and fall was present before the storm began (like pre-existing ice), the property owner may still be liable.

How Do Your Prove (and win) a Snow and Ice Slip and Fall Accident Case?

Every case involving a slip and fall accident on snow and ice is different. As a result, the proof needed depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Ultimately, you will need to prove that the property owner was negligent for waiting too long to clear the snow and ice that caused your fall.

You can also prove your case by showing that the property owner did a bad job in clearing the condition, making it even more dangerous. This can happen when the owner, for example, removes the snow, but doesn’t remove or salt the ice beneath. This can result in the walkway being much more dangerous than if the snow were simply left on top of the ice.

Your conduct is also important in a slip and fall accident case. In fact, under the rules of comparative negligence, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are found 50% at fault because you were careless when the accident happened, for example, your award will be reduced by 50%.

Slipped on Snow or Ice? | Ask Questions – Get Answers

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on snow or ice, contact our experienced Bronx slip and fall on snow lawyers by email or by calling (718) 364-4000 for a free consultation. You can also simply fill out one of our case intake forms. We will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.

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