In New York and other states across the nation, winter weather can cause hazards. For the most part, individuals think of the way snow and ice make road travel dangerous; however, it can make other places individuals are traveling by foot risky as well. Parking lots and sidewalks can get covered in snow and ice and snow filled boots can bring in waters indoors. While these are very common occurrences, when they do occur, property owners are expected to take action.
Whether it is plowing a parking lot, salting a sidewalk or mopping up the floor, there are various ways a property owner could make their property safer for visitors and patrons during the winter months. A wet floor is a very common reason for a slip-and-fall accident indoors. And with regards to an outdoor fall, ice and snow play major roles, especially during the winter.
In these types of falls, a property owner will not automatically be held liable. In order for liability to be placed on them, it needs to be proven that he or she did not take proper action to correct the problem or warn people of the problem. For example, in cases of a wet floor because of patrons coming in with snow covered boots, it is reasonable to put out signs warning of the wet floor, as it is hard to keep up with constant foot traffic. With regards to snow and ice accumulation outdoors, a property owner is expected to take reasonable action to salt, shovel and plow the area to make it safe for patrons to walk on the property.
A property owner has the duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions on the property. If a property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on their property and they failed to take timely action or didn’t fix it at all, then an injured party could seek compensation for his or her injuries. A premises liability action not only helps to hold a negligent property owner liable, but it also helps with the recovery of damages. An injured party could address losses such as medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages arising from the incident.