Who’s Responsible for Slippery Floors and Icy Sidewalks?

Injured due to a Fall on an Icy New York Sidewalk?

We’ve all been in stores where clutter, trash, or wet areas make walking down aisles and across floors a bit tricky. When winter hits, we have to worry about dangerous patches of ice on sidewalks in front of stores and on parking lots. The question is, who’s liable for slips and falls in cases involving wet floors or icy sidewalks? While there are a number of issues that must be considered, in general, businesses and homeowners are legally responsible for the upkeep and safety of their property and the sidewalks in front of their homes and places of business.

Business Invitees and a Duty of Care

Businesses expect customers will frequent their premises – that’s simply a part of what it means to do business: if you’re selling products or services, you expect customers to walk in your door. As a result, the law recognizes liability on the part of business owners in regard to the safety and upkeep of their premises. Here, business owners have a duty of care to customers to minimize their exposure to dangers and hazards while they’re shopping or frequenting their store.

In this sense, customers are “business invitees;” that is, people who enter a store do so precisely because they’re interested in what the store has to offer. In order to sell products or services, businesses have to make themselves accessible to customers. Consequently, if customers have to navigate slippery floors, icy sidewalks, or icy parking lots in order to patronize a place a business, the hazards they’re exposed to may be the responsibility of the business owner. As a result, business owners can be held liable for injuries that result from slips and falls due to wet floors, icy sidewalks, and icy parking lots.

After a Slip and Fall on an Icy Sidewalk or Slippery Floor

Most people now have cell phone cameras and it’s a good idea to immediately take pictures of an area where you’ve fallen due to ice or wet floors. Simply put, ice and wet patches can be removed or cleaned up, resulting in the loss of important evidence. Even if you failed to take a picture of an icy sidewalk after your slip and fall, the dangerous patch of ice or snow that caused your fall may still be there.

This is especially important in slips and falls involving icy sidewalks in New York City. Under Section 7-210 of the New York City Administrative Code, the owner of real property abutting a sidewalk can be held liable for personal injuries that occur as a result ice or snow. Under Section 7-201, the city of New York can be held liable in certain situations involving sidewalks in parks or bus stops that they are responsible for maintaining.

Contact Long Island Slip and Fall Lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck

If you’ve suffered a herniated disc, broken arm, concussion, or other injury due to a slip and fall on slippery floors or icy sidewalks, contact Holtsville, New York slip and fall attorneys at Rosenberg and Gluck today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.