Retail property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for their customers. The dangers posed by snow and ice during winter should be anticipated by property owners and addressed by regular snow removal maintenance. Nevertheless, people continue to slip and fall on retail properties due to snow and ice. If you or a loved one has been hurt in this type of accident, the business owner may be liable for your injuries.
At The Cassisi Law Firm, our Queens retail accident lawyers have helped many victims assert their right to compensation after a slip and fall. Call 718-441-5050 today.
Snow and ice on sidewalks and the front steps of stores pose a hazard to retail customers. Property owners have a legal duty to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their stores. They also are required to use reasonable care in maintaining their premises, particularly in areas open to customers. An accident involving a slip and fall caused by snow or ice may subject the business owner to legal liability through a personal injury lawsuit.
Under a negligence theory of law, an injured person must show four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In a case arising from a slip and fall, the plaintiff would try to prove that the defendant property owner owed him or her a duty of care. Next, the plaintiff would need to demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty of care by not acting as a reasonable property owner would have acted under similar circumstances. This breach must have caused the accident directly and resulted in actual damages.
Premises liability lawsuits, such as those involving snow and ice accidents, require that the plaintiff show that the store owner knew or should have known of the unsafe condition, but failed to address the problem. Retail property owners are required to protect their customers from foreseeable harms stemming from unsafe conditions. If snow and ice have accumulated and pose a risk to customers, the store or its employees should take measures to address the situation. These actions protect the public from the risk of injury posed by slipping and falling.
The court may consider the reasonableness of both the property owner and the plaintiff. For example, if a shopper disregards an obvious risk posed by snow and ice outside the store, this may be considered to be unreasonable. When this happens, damages still may be recovered in an amount that reflects the defendant’s contribution to the accident.
Damages that may be sought following a slip and fall may include objective costs as well as forms of harm that are less concrete, such as pain and suffering. Medical bills and lost wages are types of economic damages that often can be recovered in a premises liability lawsuit. Non-economic damages may involve pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
The lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm have years of experience representing injured people in their claims for compensation from negligent parties.
Our premises liability attorneys can be reached by calling 718-441-5050 or by using our online form to schedule a free consultation. The Cassisi Law Firm also assists accident victims in Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as Suffolk and Nassau Counties.