Icy Parking Lot Injuries
Winters in New York can be long and tough. If you slip and fall in a parking lot due to icy or snowy conditions, and are injured, you need to know your rights. Parking lots are supposed to be properly maintained to avoid injuries like this.
If you slipped and fell because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Let’s look at what defines negligence.
Reasonable Duty of Care
Building managers, property owners and property maintenance staff around the Bronx have a reasonable duty of care to make sure that their premises are safe, especially where the general public is concerned. When it snows and ices over during a typical winter in NYC, property owners and maintenance staff have an obligation to keep parking lots and sidewalks clear of ice and snow, in order for employees and the public to safely walk across them. If the building managers, property owners or maintenance staff don’t keep these areas clear and safe, they may be considered negligent in their duty of care.
Building managers must put in enough effort to demonstrate reasonable effort. Reasonable effort doesn’t necessarily mean that every last bit of snow and ice has been removed. The intention here is that the effort they put in to remove the danger would satisfy a reasonable person who would feel that all efforts have been made to keep the property safe.
Even if the owner has made efforts to clear snow and ice, it still could result in an unsafe condition, and the building managers and owners could still be held liable for injuries caused on their premises.
When Duty of Care Is Neglected
Injuries from slipping on snow or ice that should have been cleared is a common premises liability case. Property owners can be negligent in fulfilling their duty of care in many other situations. For example if there is a water leak from the building onto the pathway, or snow melts from an awning, dripping onto the sidewalk below and freezing, the owners and managers should be aware that this is a hazard and can be made liable for your injuries. This is true even if the owner of that property has previously cleared the paths from snow and ice.
Under New York’s premises liability laws, a property owner can be held liable, even if they weren’t aware of a dangerous condition on their property. They are supposed to make reasonable efforts to keep the property clear of snow and ice at all times. Even if they were aware, and did put forth some effort to remove snow and ice, unsafe conditions could still remain, and they would be found negligent.
If however, you slipped and fell in a parking lot during a winter storm, the property managers/owners may not be held liable due to the “storm in progress” defense, which means that property owners are not liable for unsafe conditions that occur while a storm is still in progress. When the storm is over, however, property managers/owners must bring their property to a safe condition within a reasonable amount of time. A “reasonable amount of time” is according to the laws of the city or county in which the accident happened.
If a parking lot is closed, and you slipped and fell while using it as a shortcut or even trespassing, the property managers/owners may not be held liable because they would not have been able to reasonably foresee that a dangerous condition exists. Therefore, they didn’t have a reasonable duty of care to create safe conditions on the property.
Free Slip and Fall Consultations
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall due to a parking lot covered in ice or snow, you may be entitled to damages. When you call our office to speak with one of our attorneys, we’ll help determine if you have a case or not, as well as any compensation you may receive as a result of your injuries.
To request a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call our office directly (we answer the phones 24×7), or fill out our online contact form to get started.