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New York businesses have an obligation to your safety in the winter

If you have lived here in New York for even a couple of winters, you know that it can be dangerous walking around the city. Ice and snow on sidewalks and parking lots present a hazard that you must traverse in order to get into a business.

Now that winter is in full swing here in the city, you need to watch your step. However, the businesses you frequent need to ensure that each of your steps is a safe one.

How businesses are supposed to keep you safe

It's not just about moving snow and ice in the morning or right after a storm. The removal process is a continuous one. Ice can unfreeze and refreeze, and more snow or sleet can fall throughout the day. This means that someone in the business needs to keep an eye on sidewalks and parking lots during the hours they remain open. They need to keep a supply of ice melt, and have someone keep clearing the snow and ice as it accumulates.

Where the cleared snow deposits also makes a difference. If it impedes foot traffic, you could easily slip and fall as you attempt to traverse the accumulated snow. The business should also put out cones as a warning that there is the potential for danger. Cones alert people to danger, and if you don't see them, a false sense of security could lull you as you walk through a potentially dangerous area.

The injuries you could suffer

If you do slip and fall, you could suffer serious injuries. Don't assume that you will be able to simply walk away. Like most people, you may think your worst injury is to your pride, but that may not be the case. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries can all happen in a slip and fall on the ice or snow. Even if doctors say you will fully recover, it could take you weeks or months to recover, depending on the severity of your injuries.

During that time, you may incur medical bills, lost wages and other damages. It's possible you may be able to pursue compensation from the owner of the business and/or the building, depending on the circumstances. Establishing liability may not be as easy as you hope, however. Fortunately, you don't need to go through the process alone. An experienced premises liability attorney can help you protect your rights and determine your next move.

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Subin Associates, LLP
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New York, NY 10038

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