One after another after another has the Mid-Hudson Valley region endured
a snowstorm. The freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall creates very
dangerous conditions for all those who attempt to travel in it. Whether
that is traveling via motor vehicle or on foot, accumulated snow and ice
poses a risk to even the most cautious of individuals.
Kingston slip and fall can also cause serious personal injuries to any person, including athletes
and very healthy people. Thus, injured, ill, and elderly individuals are
at the most risk for serious injuries even in the most innocuous of falls.
To prove your slip and fall case, you need to prove the land owner, possessor,
or maintainer owed you a duty, breached this duty, and such breach caused
your injuries. As such, you need to also establish there was notice by
the defendant. For further explanation, review the last two blog posts
about proving notice and
about the duty required.
Even if you can prove the required elements, there are some common defenses
or mitigating factors that a land owner, possessor, or maintainer could
use. The most common defense is called the “storm in progress”
doctrine. This doctrine states that one’s duty to clean his or her
property triggers after a reasonable period of time after the storm has
concluded. Essentially, this means that a defendant will not be liable
for any injuries caused during or immediately after a snowstorm.
storm in progress doctrine only creates liability where the defendant has failed to properly clean
his or her property for an extended period of time after a storm. Further,
a defendant will
not be liable for failing to clean his or her property in a temporary “lull”
of a storm. What constitutes a reasonable period of time is something
that is generally for a jury to decide.
Another common defense is comparative fault. This is not per se a defense,
but rather it is the defendant arguing that the injured victim is at least
partially liable for his or her own fall. The comparative negligence in
a slip and fall can range from very little, all the way up to 50-percent,
seventy-five percent, or even higher. This too is generally for a jury
If a victim is found to be 40-percent liable, his or her recovery will
be reduced by that amount. For example, if a victim receives $100,000
for his or her slip and fall injury but is 40-percent at fault, the victim
will only receive $60,000; the other $40,000 is lost.
Another common defense used by a property owner or possessor is that he
or she contracted with a third-party contractor to remove or make safe
snow and ice. This defense is really for indemnification or contribution
by the snow removal contractor. What makes this interesting is that it
still leaves the defendant open to liability, however if the defendant
gave prove that the third-party was responsible for the snow and ice removal,
any verdict the victim gets against the defendant is pushed to the snow
remover. The victim cannot, however, directly bring an action against
a snow removal contractor. This is because the victim is said to not be
in privity, or in connection, with the snow removal contractor.
Our Kingston slip and fall attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston,
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.