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Winter weather creates liabilities

When Manhattan gets hit with a winter storm, the city can get buried fast under a blanket of snow and ice. That's a recipe for disastrous slip and fall accidents that can cause a lot of serious damage.

Not every slip and fall rises to the level of negligence, but many times property owners and managers can have liability for the conditions that caused someone to fall. For instance, the lobby or other common area of a building might accumulate puddles from snowy boots on those coming in and out. If someone slips in a puddle and breaks a bone or suffers a traumatic brain injury, a case could be made that the building super or owner had a duty to maintain the premises to prevent injuries.

Even if property managers contract for services with snow and ice removal companies, if the providers fail to do the job properly, liability could still exist. Sometimes, liability can be shared among multiple defendants if there was a breakdown in the maintenance process on different levels.

Failing to plan for such winter weather emergencies can be a recipe for disaster. Residents and others still need to navigate in and out of the premises despite inclement weather, and it is considered prudent to have arrangements in place.

If you took a spill on a city street or sidewalk, or slipped down inside of a store or condo lobby, your injuries can be extensive and expensive. Lost time off work makes paying medical and other bills a real nightmare.

Discovering who, if anyone, bears liability for your fall is the first step toward pursuing a claim for damages.

Source: The Cooerator, "Removing Snow & Ice," accessed March 04, 2016

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