Queens Snow and Ice Injury Attorney
The winter brings more than cold temperatures. Snow and ice are much more than just inconveniences – they are hazards that can potentially cause serious injuries to unfortunate individuals. However, injuries caused by snow and ice are not always honest accidents. In some situations, the negligence of certain parties can endanger the people around them. If snow or ice has contributed to your injury, it’s vital to understand your rights and options. Our Queens snow & ice injury attorneys are experienced in proving negligence. Call our firm for help in proving negligence and assuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Negligence in a Snow and Ice Accident
During the colder months, property owners and governing bodies have a responsibility to clear away snow and ice so that it doesn’t present a hazard to people in the area. When they fail to fulfill this responsibility, they put others at risk. If an individual slips on a patch of ice or falls because of piles of snow that should have been shoveled or cleared out of the way, and he or she suffers an injury, the victim can hold the property owner or the party responsible for keeping the area clear of hazards liable for their damages.
For example, a business owner must keep the sidewalk in front of his or her business clear of hazards such as piles of snow and patches of ice. If the business owner fails to shovel snow out of the way or spread an ice-melting agent to clear slippery surfaces, anyone walking by the business is at risk of slipping and suffering injuries.
Snow and Ice Accidents in New York
If you suffer an injury from snow or ice and decide a lawsuit is necessary to cover your damages, there are a few things you must prove in court to succeed. First, you must prove that the defendant (the person being sued) was responsible for the area where your accident took place. As the plaintiff (the person suing), you must then prove several other things:
- You must show the court that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care. For example, property owners must keep their grounds clear to prevent slipping hazards for guests lawfully present on the property.
- You must then prove that the defendant breached this duty in some way. In most snow and ice accident cases, this usually means inaction. Following the previous example, a property owner failing to clear a busy walkway of snowdrifts or icy patches would be breaching his or her duty to act with reasonable care.
- Finally, you must show your injuries were the direct result of this breach of duty. Following the previous example, if you slip and fall on the icy walkway and break your arm, you must show that this would not have happened had the defendant exercised reasonable care in the maintenance of the property.
Bear in mind that New York state law uses a comparative negligence rule (sometimes referred to as a contributory negligence rule) for personal injury cases. This means that the court may find a plaintiff partially at fault for the accident and reduce damages by a proportionate amount.
For example, if you slipped on ice but were running at the time, the judge may deem that you were not using good judgment by running in winter conditions, and decide that you are partially at fault for the accident. If the judge determines that the majority of the fault lies in the owner of the property where you were injured, but your decision to run was careless and makes you 30% at fault for the incident, he or she would reduce your damages by 30%.
Contact Our Queens Snow and Ice Injury Lawyer
Personal injury cases involving snow and ice can quickly become very complicated, and victims need reliable legal representation to navigate the claim process. If you’ve slipped on snow or ice in Queens, NY, and believe another party is to blame for your injuries, call (718) 714-1515, and the personal injury lawyers at Omrani & Taub, will help you start the process today.