Firm Logo
(914) 809-9945

Snow and Ice Removal Laws in New York: Holding Property Owners Accountable

December 07, 2023

Snow and Ice Removal Laws in New York: Holding Property Owners Accountable

Winter in New York can be a picturesque wonderland, with its glistening snow-covered streets and frozen landscapes. However, this enchanting beauty also brings with it the responsibility of snow and ice removal for property owners. Negligence in this regard can lead to hazardous conditions, causing injuries and accidents. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the laws and regulations in New York pertaining to snow and ice removal, explore the common signs of negligence, discuss strategies for holding property owners accountable, and present real-life case examples of successful claims. At the heart of it all, we highlight the expertise of Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., in handling such cases.

The Importance of Snow and Ice Removal

Snow and ice removal are not merely a matter of convenience or aesthetics; it is a matter of safety. Failing to maintain your property during the winter months can have serious consequences, leading to slips, falls, and accidents. Property owners in New York are legally obligated to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those who visit their premises.

Neglecting snow and ice removal can result in not only physical harm but also legal liability. In the unfortunate event of an accident caused by negligent snow and ice maintenance, property owners can be held accountable for their oversight. Understanding the laws and regulations in New York is crucial for both property owners and individuals who may be affected by such negligence.

New York’s Laws and Regulations on Property Maintenance During Winter

New York has established clear guidelines for snow and ice removal on private and public property. These laws are in place to ensure that property owners take proactive measures to prevent accidents and injuries during the winter season. Let’s explore some of the key aspects of these laws:

1. Local Ordinances

Many municipalities in New York have specific ordinances in place that require property owners to remove snow and ice within a certain timeframe after a snowfall. These timeframes vary by location, but property owners typically have a limited window of time to clear the snow and ice from sidewalks and other public areas on their property.

2. The “Storm in Progress” Rule

In New York, property owners are generally not required to clear snow and ice while a storm is in progress. However, once the storm has ended, they are expected to take action promptly. Failing to do so can be seen as negligence.

3. “Reasonable Care” Standard

Property owners are expected to exercise “reasonable care” in removing snow and ice from their premises. This means they should use methods and materials that a reasonably prudent person would employ under similar circumstances. Negligence occurs when a property owner does not meet this standard.

4. Municipal Liability

In some cases, municipal entities may be held liable for accidents caused by snow and ice on public sidewalks if they have not taken reasonable steps to maintain safe conditions. This adds another layer of complexity to determining liability in snow and ice removal cases.

Understanding these laws and regulations is crucial for property owners to avoid potential liability and for individuals to recognize instances of negligence.

Common Signs of Negligence in Snow and Ice Removal

Identifying negligence in snow and ice removal is essential for those who have suffered injuries due to hazardous conditions. Here are some common signs that may indicate negligence on the part of property owners:

1. Accumulated Ice and Snow

The most apparent sign of negligence is the accumulation of ice and snow on walkways and sidewalks. Property owners must promptly remove snow and ice to prevent accidents. Failure to do so may be a violation of their legal obligations.

2. Slippery Conditions

If the cleared areas on a property remain slippery despite snow and ice removal efforts, it may be a sign of negligence. Property owners are expected to use appropriate materials, such as salt or sand, to ensure reasonably safe walking surfaces.

3. Inadequate Lighting

Inadequate lighting can exacerbate the risks associated with snow and ice. Property owners must maintain proper lighting to ensure that hazards are visible and avoidable.

4. Obstructed Walkways

Negligent property owners sometimes allow obstacles, such as debris or equipment, to obstruct walkways. These obstacles can contribute to accidents during icy conditions.

5. Failure to Post Warnings

In some cases, property owners may be required to post warnings about hazardous conditions or close off dangerous areas. Failure to do so can be a sign of negligence.

Recognizing these signs is vital for individuals who have suffered injuries and are seeking compensation for their losses.

Strategies for Proving Property Owner Liability

Proving property owner liability in cases of snow and ice removal negligence can be challenging, but it is not impossible. To establish liability, the following strategies can be employed:

1. Documentation

Collect evidence to support your claim. This can include photographs of the hazardous conditions, weather records,, and witness statements. Document the scene as soon as possible after an accident.

2. Identify the Property Owner

Determine the owner of the property and establish their legal responsibilities. In some cases, identifying the responsible party may require legal expertise.

3. Evaluate Compliance with Local Ordinances

Check if the property owner is complying with local ordinances regarding snow and ice removal. Failure to adhere to these laws can strengthen your case.

4. Consult an Expert

If necessary, the attorney’s office will consult an expert witness who can testify about the negligence of the property owner. Experts can provide valuable insights into the adequacy of snow and ice removal efforts.

5. Legal Representation

Seek legal representation from a reputable law firm experienced in personal injury cases – such as Marvin A. Cooper, PC – related to snow and ice removal negligence. A skilled attorney can guide you through the legal process and help build a strong case.

Real-Life Case Examples Showcasing Successful Claims

To illustrate the principles discussed above, let’s explore a few real-life case examples where individuals successfully held property owners accountable for their negligence in snow and ice removal:

Case 1: Slip and Fall on a Neglected Sidewalk

In this case, a pedestrian slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk outside of a commercial property. The property owner had not cleared the snow and ice within the required timeframe specified by local ordinances. The injured individual was able to secure compensation by documenting the hazardous conditions and demonstrating the property owner’s failure to comply with the law.

Case 2: Inadequate Lighting in a Parking Lot

A patron of a retail store slipped and fell in the store’s parking lot during a snowy evening. Inadequate lighting in the parking lot made it difficult to spot the icy patches. The injured individual successfully sued the store, arguing that the store had failed to provide a safe environment by not maintaining proper lighting and visibility.

Case 3: Failure to Post Warnings

In this case, a property owner had cleared snow and ice from their premises, but they had not posted any warnings about remaining slippery conditions. A visitor slipped and suffered an injury. The injured party successfully sued the property owner, alleging negligence due to the failure to post warnings about the hazards.

These real-life cases highlight the significance of understanding your rights and the legal obligations of property owners when it comes to snow and ice removal. Successful claims are possible when individuals take action and seek legal representation from experienced attorneys.

Contact Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. – Your Partner in Snow and Ice Removal Liability Cases

Snow and ice removal laws in New York are in place to protect the safety of residents and visitors. Negligence in maintaining properties during the winter months can lead to accidents and injuries, but holding property owners accountable is possible with the right knowledge and legal support.

Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., is a trusted law firm with a proven track record of successfully handling personal injury cases, including those related to snow and ice removal negligence. Our experienced White Plains attorneys understand the nuances of New York’s laws and regulations and are dedicated to helping clients get the compensation they deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to snow and/or ice removal negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. We are here to guide you through the legal process, build a strong case, and ensure that your rights are protected. With our expertise, you can hold property owners accountable for their negligence and receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

Winter in New York is indeed beautiful, but it should also be safe. Understanding the laws and regulations surrounding snow and ice removal is essential for ensuring that property owners fulfill their legal obligations and that individuals affected by negligence receive the justice they deserve. With Marvin A. Cooper, P.C., you have a dedicated legal partner to help you navigate this complex terrain and secure the compensation you need.

“Wonderful experience.

Very knowledgeable and responsive!

— I definitely recommend them

to anyone in need of a great attorney”

"Thank you for making the dream of recovery a possibility for me. I appreciate you being so kind and helpful, even when I felt like giving up. I am so grateful for all that you've done.”

"Thank you for making the dream of recovery a possibility for me. I appreciate you being so kind and helpful, even when I felt like giving up. I am so grateful for all that you've done.”

View All Client Reviews
© 2024 Marvin A. Cooper, P.C. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer.Site Map.