Who is Responsible for Snow and Ice Hazards around New York State?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC January 3, 2022 Personal injury,Slip Trip & Fall

New York is known to see significant amounts of snow and ice in the wintertime. While the winter wonderland may seem nice at times, hazardous conditions can also endanger you and your family. It is a matter of public safety to prevent slip and fall accidents by timely and properly clearing snow and ice hazards from public sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas.

New York residents and visitors often commute to their destinations using public transportation or other forms of alternative travel. Walking through the streets and parking in public lots is a vital part of everyday life for many individuals. Property owners have a responsibility to make sure their space is safe. If you suffer injuries due to someone’s disregard for your safety, you may have the right to seek compensation.

In New York State, the laws of most municipalities typically provide that homeowners, property managers, and business owners are responsible for maintaining the public sidewalks surrounding their property in a reasonably safe condition, which maintenance generally includes the removal of snow and ice. Failure to do so may result in hefty fines and other penalties.

If you find yourself injured due to a property owner’s lack of care anywhere in New York, you can contact a slip and fall lawyer to help recover your losses.

What Are the Property Owner’s Duties Regarding Snow and Ice Removal in New York City?

New York City has enacted an ordinance whereby homeowners, property managers, tenants, and business owners have the responsibility of clearing snow and ice from public walkways, including sidewalks and gutters, surrounding their property within four hours after the snow or ice storm stops. Each property owner plays an essential role in the city’s public safety. If a property owner, manager, tenant, or business owner fails to clear their walkways and an individual suffers severe injuries, they can face serious consequences, including fines of up to $150 and even imprisonment for up to ten days. Additionally, in certain circumstances, an injured person can seek compensation for the injuries or property damage they incur in the accident from the property owner or even the City of New York.

Consider the following examples of some primary duties that homeowners, business owners, and property managers are required to perform to remove snow and ice from the pathways in front of their property in New York City:

  • Property owners must clear snow and ice from sidewalks and paved walkways outside their property for pedestrians’ safety.
  • Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from around a bus stop or fire hydrant located in front of their property.
  • Property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice around their buildings, parking lots, and driveways to clear access for pedestrians.
  • Property owners must keep the floors of their property’s interior dry and place a “wet floor” sign to warn people of the potential danger.
  • Without moving the accumulated snow onto city streets, property owners must clear any snow pushed aside by a city plow.

In order to keep New York City residents and visitors safe, there is a time limit of how long a property owner has to remove the ice and snow from the above areas depending on when the snowfall stops. If the snow stops falling:

  • Between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., property owners must clear the areas within four hours.
  • Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., property owners must clear the areas within four hours.
  • Between 9:00 p.m. and 7 a.m., property owners must clear the areas by 11:00 a.m. the next day.

Property owners who fail to clear the areas within the time instructed will receive a notice of violation, a summons from the city, or a ticket. Depending on the severity and number of prior notices, drivers also risk fines and imprisonment.

Contact Lever & Ecker, PLLC for an Experienced New York Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer

Our personal injury lawyers at Lever & Ecker, PLLC have 60+ years of combined experience advocating for and protecting clients’ rights across New York. We understand that every person and case is unique and requires thorough investigation. Our team tailors its focus on your specific needs to ensure that you have the best possible outcome for your case. By gathering multiple resources and types of evidence, we can build a strong case for your recovery. You can count on us for reliable legal representation.

Call (914) 350-6328 or (718) 550-6924 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.