After a snow fall, home and business owners have a time to clear their property of snow and ice. The timing is different based on the jurisdiction. In the Town of Hempstead, home and business owners are responsible for the sidewalks that abut their property.
In some jurisdictions, the town is responsible for the sidewalks, so any lawsuit would name that town as the defendant. When dealing with a municipality, the timeline for filing the case and notifying the town is a very short window.
Homeowners have several hours after a snowfall ends to clear their sidewalks. For overnight snowfall, the grace-period extends into the morning to give a home or business owner a reasonable amount of time to act. Those responsible for clearing sidewalks do not have to act during an active snowfall or in the middle of the night, as these are not reasonable expectations.
Slip and fall accidents are not just a case of seasonal conditions. It is common for businesses and office buildings to clean floors throughout the day to maintain a clean appearance. In grocery stores or restaurants, water or food spills are a common occurrence which requires employees to clean and mop an area creating a wet or slick surface.
It is the responsibility of the building, store, or restaurant management to clearly mark an area as being hazardous due to slick conditions or close access to the area until the condition can be resolved.
Negligence is not only about committing an action, it may also be about an action not taken. In the case of a slip and fall, not acting to warn pedestrians or failing to clear an area may also be considered an act of negligence.
Falling backwards can lead to several injuries including:
- Broken or fractured arms or hands
- Broken coccyx
- Spine or nerve damage
- Dislocated Shoulders
- Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury