New York property owners are responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for visitors or customers. However, when the cold weather approaches, keeping property free from ice and snow, which could lead to serious slip-and-fall accidents, can be a difficult task. Even so, there are things that property owners can do to avoid liabilities.
Before any changes to the property are made, property owners should check their local laws and regulations. These regulations are provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If a customer wants to file a lawsuit for slip and fall injuries, the courts will use the regulations before determining whether the case is valid or not. During the winter, property owners should be on the lookout for leaks, as this could lead to ice when the temperatures dip low enough.
Business owners should also remember that, when employees or customers come into the building, they may bring snow and ice with them. To avoid a slippery entryway that could cause a fall, they should provide a mat for employees and customers to wipe off their shoes. Keeping caution signs around potentially dangerous areas can prevent accidents as well. If there are ice and snow on the property, property owners should do what they can to remove it. This may mean adding mats to walk on or salt.
If a customer or guest suffers a slip and fall injury while on someone else's property, they may have the grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. A personal injury attorney may assist with filling the lawsuit and gathering evidence that shows the extent of the injuries. If the property owner refuses to settle the case outside of court, the attorney may represent the injured person during the trial.