Cold weather is expected to drop temperatures in New York to the single digits with wind chills of anywhere from minus 15 to 20 degrees, said the New York Daily News (1.6.13). This means any melted snow or other water on the ground will freeze.
New Yorkers are advised to walk carefully. Icy sidewalks can be a serious hazard when the temperature drops. Injuries caused by slips and falls increase significantly during the icy weather. Weather related slip and fall injuries can include broken wrists and ankles, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, other long-term medical complications and, even death.
The dangers of slip-and-fall accidents on icy sidewalks can be reduced.
There are a number of ways to reduce the chance of having a slip and fall accident or reduce injury if a fall does occur.
To avoid slips:
- Concentrate on walking, meaning go slow
- Avoid all slippery surfaces or surfaces that look slippery
- Wear footwear that provides traction with soles that are waffled, ridged or heavily textured when walking outside
- Use handrails wherever possible
- Walk carefully in entrance halls and/or on stairs. Snow and slush from the shoes of others may cause the floor to be slippery
- Pay attention to changes in walking surfaces, treading carefully if the floor feels slippery
- Walk like a penguin with your feet positioned slightly out to increase your center of gravity. Take short steps.
- Keep hands out of pockets. Your hands can help break your fall if you do slip.
If you slip:
- Sit down if you begin to fall backward. The severity of injuries may be reduced if you relax your body when you fall
- Try to avoid landing on your knees, wrists or spine. It’s better to fall on a fleshy part of your body, like your side
Weather-related slip and fall accidents and personal injury lawyers
Icy and snowy conditions are among the most common causes of slip and fall accidents.
In New York, property owners are expected to remove ice and snow in a timely manner, and to clean up wet entryways. New York City laws are clear that property owners are responsible for cleaning snow from their sidewalk. According to the Official Website of the City of New York, if snowfall ends between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., property owners have 4 hours to clear the sidewalks. If snowfall ends between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., property owners must clear sidewalks before 11 a.m.
If you or a loved one was injured after slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk, in a parking lot, or on melted snow or ice inside a building, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.