The Mid-Hudson Valley and the rest of New York receive a significant amount
of snow and ice during the winter months. This creates slippery and potentially
dangerous conditions on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and other
walking surfaces. These conditions can be caused by the actual snowfall
or due to the melting and refreezing process causing ice. Further, dangerous
conditions could be created when snow and ice is improperly removed by
a property owner or possessor.
A property owner, possessor, or maintainer has a duty to removal accumulations
of snow and ice from his or her property. This is a common law duty, or
judge-made law, which requires a property owner, possessor, or maintainer
to use “reasonable care under the circumstances” to ensure
that a visitor to the property is protected from foreseeable harm. Meaning,
the property must be reasonably safe for visitors so they do not get injured.
This includes snow and ice.
When a person
slips and falls on the property of another and is caused to sustain injuries, there are
certain elements you will need to prove your case. The most important
one is notice. You must prove that the property owner, possessor, or maintainer
had notice of the dangerous condition which caused the slip and fall.
There are multiple kinds of notice and multiple ways to prove notice. There
is actual notice and constructive notice. It is important to note that
if the dangerous condition was created by the defendant, you no longer
need to prove notice to be successful in your slip and fall case.
The first type of notice is called actual notice. This is just as it sounds;
the defendant has
actual notice of the dangerous condition. This can be proven when a third-party
complains, tells the defendant of the problem, sends a little or formal
complaint, or otherwise informs the defendant of the dangerous condition.
Actual notice can also be proven if the defendant or his or her agent,
employee, or actor sees or attempts to respond. For instance, if a front
sidewalk is very icy and a patron falls on it, if an employee walks on
the same front sidewalk and does nothing about it that is actual notice.
The second type of notice is constructive notice. This is a trickier situation
and requires an experienced Newburgh slip and fall attorney because constructive
notice is where the defendant did not know, but
should have known of a dangerous condition on the premises. Constructive notice can be proven
by the dangerous condition remaining on the property for a reasonable
period of time, such hours or even days.
In addition, constructive notice can also be proven by a recurring condition.
For instance, if snow always melts then turns to ice on a stairwell, that
is a recurring dangerous condition. This is a common issue due to the
natural thaw and refreeze processes which occurs after a snowfall. Another
example would be if a store’s aisles by the door always get slippery
due to tracked in snow which melts, that too is a recurring dangerous
Are you interested in learning more about slip and fall accidents? Visit
our newest article on our website available here which is written by our
experienced attorneys to provide you an overview as to this area of law.
Our 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, Poughkeepsie, and
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.