Winter Accident Hazards

Snow and ice are a part of winter life in New York. Winter weather means slippery roads, sidewalks, stairs, as well as fender benders on the highway and in parking lots, which can sometimes cause serious injuries.


Snow and Ice on Roadways


Visitors coming to New York to enjoy winter sports or spend time in the city may not be accustomed to driving on ice and snow. These inexperienced drivers cause accidents by following too closely to other cars, driving too fast for the current road conditions, and/or not having proper snow tires or other equipment on vehicles. Winter road accidents are not limited to tourists, of course. Even the most experienced driver can miscalculate the time needed to stop on a snowy or icy road.


Although some accidents cannot be avoided, all drivers are expected to adjust to weather and road conditions, and to exercise proper precautions to avoid accidents when conditions are bad. Under the New York No Fault law, minor injuries are covered by your insurance company. For more serious injuries, a claim may be made against the responsible driver’s liability insurance policy.


Dangerous Conditions on Private and Commercial Property


  • Parking Lots: Parking lot owners have a duty to keep the lot in a safe condition. This includes repairing potholes and uneven pavement. In the winter, this duty also includes clearing snow and ice within a reasonable time.


  • Public Sidewalks: Property owners are generally not responsible for clearing public sidewalks outside their properties. However, if a sidewalk is used exclusively by the owner’s customers and guests, the owner may be liable for injuries is he knew about a hazardous condition, took no action to correct it, and continued to allow their guests to use the sidewalk.


  • Walkways and entrances: Ice and snow on walkways and steps can be dangerous, especially at night. Injuries from ice or snow falling from roofs and awnings can also lead to injuries. Property owners owe their guests a duty to clear these hazards when possible and/or warn customers and guests.
  • Inadequate Lighting: Parking lots and walkways should always be lighted, especially when there is a possibility of snow, ice, or other hazards.


In order to make a claim against a property owner for injuries sustained by ice or snow, the injured person must prove that the property owner knew of or should have known about the hazardous condition, had an opportunity to correct or mitigate the hazard, and failed to take action to protect his customers and guests.


New York Injury Lawyers


The temporary nature of the conditions leading to a winter accident can make a personal injury case more challenging. It is important to take photos at the scene of the accident and identify any possible witnesses. Seek medical attention right away. Talking to a personal injury lawyer right away will maximize your chances of recovery. The lawyers at O’Brien & Ford are available at your convenience for a free consultation. Call us at 716-907-7777 or visit our visit our website to learn more about us.