Snow tends to fall often and hard during New York winters. Because of this, you probably know that snow can lead to lots of accidents and injuries – especially slip and fall injuries. Below we’re going to go over some of the most common causes of winter slip and fall accidents in New York, and what you can do if you are injured.
Dangerous Balcony and Stair Conditions
Individual snowflakes are light and fluffy, but when it accumulates, snow can be shockingly heavy. If it isn’t cleared from a balcony or stairway, the weight of the snow could cause the structure to collapse, and people can be injured in the process.
Take care when using balconies or stairs that are not completely free from snow. The extra weight may add more stress to the structure than you expect. Take an alternate route if possible.
Ice-Covered Ramps and Stairs
If ramps and stairs are not properly treated or cleared of snow, they can melt and freeze again and cause slippery conditions that could lead to a fall.
Protect yourself by wearing nonslip footwear. Boots and cleats are best for slick conditions. The safest winter shoes have low heels and thick soles. Also, try to venture out on foot during the day, when ramps and stairs are more likely to be free of ice.
Slippery Entrances to Buildings
Entrances to buildings can pose fall hazards if the property owner fails to clear and treat the entrance with careful consideration.
Watch your step when you enter a building. If possible, use hand rails to steady yourself. If a rug is available, stay on it for additional traction. When inside the building, clear the snow and ice off your shoes to prevent a slip and fall injury inside.
New York City is covered in sidewalks. If you happen to slip and fall on a sidewalk that was not properly cleared, you may be able to file for damages for any injuries you incur due to a fall.
Walk carefully and stay alert. Don’t use your phone while you are walking, because distracted walking raises your chances of being injured. Keep your eyes on the ground ahead of you and steer clear of slick areas. As much as possible, keep your hands free to help keep your balance and avoid falling. Wearing a backpack is safer than carrying bags or items.
Unplowed Parking Lots
Retailers and property owners have the responsibility of making sure their parking lots are clear and safe to use. A slip and fall due to the negligence of a parking lot property owner may be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
When you’re in a parking lot during snowy conditions, take extra care while walking. Exit your vehicle slowly by placing both feet on the ground at the same time. Avoid areas where snow has been piled up, and if you feel yourself falling, drop whatever you’re carrying to brace yourself against the impact.
Filing an Injury Lawsuit
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your injury. A skilled NY injury attorney must be able to prove that your injury occurred due to the property owner’s negligence.