What are the rules for property owners after a snowfall?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2017 | Premises Liability

The winter often brings snow to New York City and this can place people in danger of being involved in a slip and fall accident and suffering significant injuries. It is a general question as to who is responsible and what the property owners were supposed to do to clear the snow and when they were supposed to do it. Snow and icy sidewalks can place people in danger and if there was a slip and fall incident, it is important to understand that a legal filing is possible to be compensated.

In New York City, ice and snow must be cleared from the sidewalk by the owner, someone who leases the property, a tenant, an occupant or any other person who is in charge of the building or lot. Areas adjacent to the property like the sides and back – in addition to the front – must also be cleared. A common area of confusion for property owners is when the property must be cleared under the law. There is not a basic, all-encompassing answer. If the snow stops between 7 a.m. and 4:49 p.m., the area must be cleared within four hours. If it stops between 5 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., it must be cleared within 14 hours. If it stops between 9 p.m. and 6:59 a.m., it must be cleared by 11 a.m.

People clearing snow and ice will frequently push it into the street. This too is against the law. People are not to cover crosswalks and snow must be cleared around fire hydrants. If possible, a four-foot wide path should be cleared in front of the property. Properties that are on the corner should be cleared at the crosswalk. If there are pedestrian ramps, these too must be cleared.

The rules are clear as to when and how the property should be cleared of ice and snow. Those who fall on someone else’s property because that person did not adhere to the law for clearing up dangerous property conditions might suffer injuries with massive medical costs and long-term problems. They can even die as a result. Having legal assistance to consider a lawsuit over icy sidewalks can be beneficial to determining if there is a case and taking the steps necessary to pursue litigation.

Source: nyc.gov, “Snow Removal: Your Responsibilities,” accessed on Dec. 26, 2017