Who is Responsible for Slips and Falls on Snow and Ice in New York City

In the State of New York, the owner or property must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition.  Thus, property owners must remove snow and/or ice from their private property, where pedestrians are expected to walk, within a reasonable amount of time after the snowfall ends.  Such snow removal areas would be walkways, parking lots, driveways, etc. In the City of New York, the property owner is also required maintain the public sidewalk in front of their property in a reasonably safe condition.  Thus, the property owner must clear the public sidewalk of ice and snow.  The failure of a property owner to remove ice and snow from the sidewalk will make the property owner liable  for damages to pedestrians that slip and fall on ice and snow. However, if the property adjoining the NYC sidewalk is a one, two, or three family home which is owner occupied, and not used for commercial purposes,  an exception exists to the above rule.   The homeowner is still required to shovel the snow and ice, and risks a fine for not doing so.  However, the homeowner will not be liable to pedestrians who injure themselves on a dangerous condition such as snow or ice..  The City is the entity which may be held liable for damages.  The homeowner may be held liable, if any action taken by them made the condition worse than it was before before. In regards to sidewalks outside the City of New York, one has to look to the local rules as to who is responsible for cleaning public sidewalks in front of private property, and the consequences for failing to do so. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.  If you have a ideas for future blog posts let me know. – Marc Miner, Esq. Zalman & Schnurman is a New York law firm that concentrates in personal injury actions such as construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, premises liability, trip and falls, slip and falls, snow and ice cases, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. Learn more at www.1800Lawline.com, or contact us at 1-800-LAWLINE, or 1-800-529-5463 New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County. The information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not meant as legal advice or to cover all possible facts or factors. An attorney should be consulted to discuss specific facts and laws.

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