Newburgh residents have already seen snowfall this season and more snow
will assuredly blanket the Hudson Valley region in the coming months.
Like it or not, this is a part of living in upstate New York. Unfortunately,
many people will
slip and fall on snow covered stairs, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
Experienced Newburgh slip and fall attorneys know that property owners have a duty to ensure snow is shoveled from
areas open and accessible to visitors and even trespassers. Property owners
suspected of negligently maintaining their property can be held liable
for injuries happening to people on that property.
Property owners are not insurers, but they do have several specific responsibilities
that, if not followed, will trigger liability. First, a property owner
must not create a danger that causes injury to visitors on the property.
When we are addressing this in terms of snow covered surfaces, we mean
that property owners should not remove snow in a manner that causes a
Property owners also have a duty to inspect the property for dangers. This
is rather easy when one is looking to see if snow is on the ground. Most
people are aware that a storm is coming before snowfall begins. People
also know how dangerous unsholved snow can be on walking and driving surfaces.
Property owners aware of dangerous, snow covered surfaces on their property
must remediate the danger. Failing to act in these situations will give
rise to liability if a visitor is injured on the property in a
slip and fall accident.
Victims of negligence in property maintenance should also know that property owners cannot hide behind a veil of ignorance.
In the case of a snow storm and snow covered grounds, property owners
will not be able to defend by stating they lacked knowledge of the condition.
This is because property owners also have a duty to inspect the property
for potential hazards. Even though the property owner may not have directly
observed the hazard, his or her knowledge of the conditions will be imputed.
In legal speak, attorneys call this constructive notice. If a reasonable
property owner in similar circumstances would have checked the property
for snow hazards, then the offending property owner will be charged with
having constructive notice of the snow covered surface.
Readers now know that property owners have a duty of care, and readers
know that owners must inspect for and remediate dangers found on their
property. But property owners can only be held liable if the dangerous
and snow covered ground actually caused the victim’s injuries. Additionally,
the victim can only recover compensation if they suffered damages. Damages
are typically pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
Learn about snow and ice bringing danger to pedestrians and the type of
slip and falls in the latest article from
our office available here.
Our personal injury 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 car 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.