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Can I file a lawsuit if I'm injured on an icy sidewalk?

New Yorkers are typically very accustomed to dealing with cold-weather conditions in the winter. When the temperatures dip and precipitation falls from the sky, be it in the form of snow, sleet or rain, the streets and sidewalks can become extremely treacherous. And while you may know what you need to do to reduce the risk of slipping and falling, we are all subject to the laws of gravity and if you lose your footing you could go down hard and suffer a serious injury.

Fortunately, New York holds property owners legally responsible for clearing the ice and snow that accumulates on the public sidewalks outside of their premises. Failure to keep the sidewalk ice-free and safe could result in a property owner being issued a fine.

But a property owner could also be held accountable for the injuries suffered by a person who falls when walking on a sidewalk that has not been properly cleared of ice. However, property owners are granted a reasonable amount of time before having to remove the snow and ice, meaning if you were to slip and fall not long after the sidewalk became icy, the owner may not be considered liable. Thus a big part of claiming the owner is liable is demonstrating that he or she had time to fix the issue but failed to do so.

If you or someone in your family was injured after slipping on ice that should have been cleared by a property owner, you may wish to contact a knowledgeable premises liability attorney. The attorney can assess whether you have the grounds for a civil suit. If it appears you do, the attorney can use your medical records and other documentation to determine an amount that would represent appropriate compensation and work on your behalf to get you a fair settlement.

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