During the holiday season, shoppers flock to New York City to purchase gifts for their loved ones. New York City is uniquely suited for holiday shopping as it is home to some of the largest and busiest department stores, retail stores, toy shops, and more. Unfortunately, New York City is also home to one of the coldest winters in the United States. Under the right conditions, such as rain, sleet, or snow combined with below-freezing temperatures, ice may line the sidewalks, turning your window shopping experience into a dangerous hazard.

New York City Requirements for Removing Ice from Sidewalks

When sidewalks are icy, it is difficult for shoes to gain traction, resulting in slip and fall accidents. If you are injured due to slipping on an icy sidewalk in New York, you may worry you have no recourse for your pain as Mother Nature created the icy conditions. However, under New York City’s Administrative Code, property owners are responsible for removing ice and snow from sidewalks within a certain specified period of time. This is to reduce and prevent nasty tumbles. According to the Code, the sidewalk must be cleared or de-iced:

  • Within four hours if snowfall ended between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Within fourteen hours if snowfall ended between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • By 11 a.m. if snowfall ended between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Legal Options for New York Slip and Falls

While a violation of the Code may result in a fine from the city, a slip and fall accident due to a property owner’s failure to salt a sidewalk or remove ice may lead to a cognizable legal claim under premises liability theory. Premises liability requires owners to act reasonably in curing dangerous conditions on their property, such as an icy sidewalk. A department store that fails to remove ice from its sidewalk, leading to window shoppers slipping and falling on the ice, may be responsible for damages if they were aware of the ice yet did not take steps to remedy the situation.

Tips for Avoiding an Icy Fall While Window Shopping

The fear of slipping and falling should not prevent you from enjoying a day of window shopping in New York City, but it is wise to follow several handy tips to reduce your risk of injury.

  • Wear winter shoes designed to tackle snow and ice. The sole should be textured to provide a good grip on the ice.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. If you see any patches of ice, walk around them.
  • Do not shop during a snow storm.
  • Report any ice that you encounter to the store.
  • Walk slowly and keep a low center of gravity.

Contact Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys to Discuss Your Case Today

If you were involved in a slip and fall accident due to an icy sidewalk, call our New York slip and fall attorneys today to learn more about your options. Our attorneys are recognized by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for assisting clients with obtaining multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for their injuries. To schedule a consultation with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, call (212) 986-7353 now.