Friday, December 19, 2008

Personal Injury - Slip and Fall on Snow Or Ice: The December 19, 2008 Snow Storm


New York just had it's first major snow storm, and it was a doozie. See coverage here, here, here and here. Every year, people are seriously injured from slipping and falling on snow and ice that is not properly removed. If you are one of those people, and you are contemplating a lawsuit, there are a few things you should do.

First, if possible, have pictures taken of the site where you fell. Your health comes first, of course. Don't go wandering around an icy area on crutches. Send someone to take pictures, and have them take pictures from various distances: some close, showing the dangerous condition; and some far, showing the surrounding

businesses or area. Try to include the date from a newspaper in at least one of the photos. Similarly, you should take photographs of your injuries. If you do decide to file a suit, pictures will be invaluable.

Second, write down your recollections of the event. What were the conditions when you fell? How was the lighting; where exactly did you slip; was the snow or ice old or freshly fallen? If you were wearing boots or shoes with good traction, make a note of that (maybe even take a picture of them). You should also write down the contact information for every doctor you see, and consider keeping a journal describing how your injuries are affecting you.

Third, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. In slip and fall cases, there is often a municipal defendant, and municipalities have special protection under the law. If your defendant is a municipality, you must promptly provide them with notice of your claim or you will not be able to file a lawsuit. In New York, the time limit for notifying municipal defendants of a claim is usually 90 days, but sometimes you may have as short as 60 days. An attorney will know who the appropriate defendant is, and how to properly notify them.

If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at Scott.Kreppein@gmail.com. You may also want to take a look at a more comprehensive snow and ice post I wrote a while back, here.

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