It’s no secret that New York has notoriously brutal winters. As the weather gets colder, icy sidewalks and roads become an ever-present danger for shoppers and pedestrians. If you slip on the ice outside of a store or other building, and suffer a serious injury, how can you know whether it’s worth it to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the premises owner?
The basics of premises liability
In New York, the owner of property (whether they be a private business or a governmental entity) owes a duty of care to members of the public who legally enter their property. This means that they have a legal responsibility to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition and free of unreasonable danger.
This does not mean that their premises has to be completely free of any danger at all. It just means that, if there is a danger that they know about or should know about, but they fail to take reasonable steps to mitigate that danger, then a court could hold them liable for any injury that results from that danger.
For example, if it’s a frigid winter day when grocery store employees know that ice has likely formed on the sidewalk outside of the store, the store owner may be liable if the employees do not put down salt or take other precautions to help prevent a customer from slipping on the ice and injuring themselves.
Other factors in slip and fall cases
You should also keep in mind the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases. A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for bringing a case.
If the statute of limitations expires before you have filed your case in court, you lose the right to hold the owner of the premises liable for your injuries. In New York, a slip and fall case has a statute of limitations of three years from the date of the injury.
An unexpected injury can ruin your holiday plans and leave you with potentially costly medical bills to deal with. A lawsuit might be what you need to recover your costs and to make yourself whole again.