Ice and snow are common this time of year in Upstate New York. These winter conditions are the main causes of slip and fall accidents during winter months.
According to the lawyers at Basch & Keegan, most slip-and-fall accidents are preventable and they occur because the property owner acts negligently.
Within the first month of the New Year, Basch & Keegan has received multiple calls from people injured in slip-and-fall accidents. Based on the sheer number of calls, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a break down of the 3 most important steps to take if you find yourself or a loved one in this common situation.
Owners Have a Duty to Maintain Their Property in a “Reasonably Safe Condition”
It’s the law. Property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Ice can be very dangerous. This means property owners must remove snow and ice (or treat it with salt or sand) within a reasonable period of time after a winter storm. They must also inspect their premises with reasonable frequency to ensure that no ice accumulates due to unnatural conditions, such as water drainage from gutters or downspouts.
What to Do:
Step #1: Report the Accident and Gather Information
Report your slip-and-fall accident to the nearest representative, professional, office or storefront. If possible, photograph the location and conditions of the scene. Gather the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
The only exception to this rule would occur if you are so seriously injured that you must be taken from the scene by ambulance or under some other emergent situation.
Step #2: Get Medical Treatment
After you report the accident, you should next report to your doctor or an emergency room. Describe clearly that you slipped on ice but never use the term “black ice.” This is a legal term that will undermine your personal injury case.
Step #3: Take Action
Contact a lawyer immediately. It is always important to act fast when injured in an accident but your diligence is critically important within the context of slip-and-fall accidents. A good lawyer will immediately investigate the circumstances to determine whether you have a meritorious case.
With over 35 years of experience helping Ulster County slip and fall victims, the attorneys at Basch and Keegan understand the process and will walk you through it, every step of the way.