As indicated in our website, White Plains-Injury-Lawyer.com, our firm handles all kinds of falls from snow and ice. We explain the law in our website under Practice Areas “snow & ice accidents”. Although we are experiencing an extremely warm winter; there will come a time when temperatures will drop below freezing and snow and ice will form on surfaces. When one falls, the property owner may be liable for damages sustained by the person who fell. (See snow & ice accidents) against municipalities for sidewalk cases under practice areas of our website.
If you are a victim and sustained physical injuries as a result of a fall on snow & ice, the following should be done:
1. Do not move before making sure you haven’t sustained a fracture or a serious injury;
2. While still on the ground, take out your cellphone and take photos of the snow & ice that caused you to fall;
3. Call the police to make an official record of the fall;
4. Call an ambulance and go to the nearest hospital emergency room to be checked out by a physician;
5. If people come over to help, get their names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witness.
6. Take care of your injuries. Go to an appropriate doctor;
7. Ascertain the name and address of the property owner;
8. If you fall in a parking lot, get the name of the shopping center, condominium association or coop owner and the managing agent;
9. If possible, get the name of the entity responsible for plowing and snow removal. This is normally not available and your attorney will ascertain what entity that is. Many commercial properties have a snow plower who may subcontract to another snow plower. All snow plowers must be in the lawsuit along with the property owner and managing agent.
10. Call an attorney who handles personal injury cases.
As a result of this year’s warm weather, we have not received snow & ice fall down cases. However, since last year, we had a number of snow & ice storms that are still pending. In one case with significant injuries of a severe fracture with surgery, rods, plates and pins. This case happened on a sidewalk by a church in the church’s driveway. The driveway creates special duty of the property owner even if they do not own the sidewalk and the municipality does. The driveway area is considered a special use by the property owner abutting the driveway. Even though they do not own the sidewalk, the law imposes a duty on the adjourning property owner to keep the driveway clear of snow and ice (and maintain the sidewalk for cracks, pot holes, etc.) If the abutting property owner fails to clean the snow and ice or clears the snow and ice improperly and does not sand or salt the driveway, they will be liable to the injured party for the pain and suffering and medical bills.
Our firm also handled a case and settled it when our client fell on a hazardous ice condition and the client took photos and had the names and addresses of witnesses. The client sustained a fracture of their leg and because we had all the information, along with photographs showing the ice condition the property owner’s insurance company settled the case before a lawsuit was started.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of snow and ice condition, contact the law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or on our website at White Plains-Injury-Lawyer.com.