Slip and Falls on Snow and Ice

Slip and Falls on Snow and Ice


Slip and Falls on Snow and Ice

Snow and ice can be absolutely treacherous! You could be completely healthy, just walking along, when slip and falls happen on ice and snow, bad things ensue. Last week I was asked on one of my radio interviews what responsibility do towns and villages have regarding their streets, particularly in winter in Central New York.

Villages and Towns

Most municipalities, villages and towns, there are rules that the landlord/owner of the property adjacent to the sidewalk must keep the path free and clear of snow and ice, and in reasonable condition for safety. If there’s a bad storm, there’s a window they’re granted to allow the storm to pass, but then must get it cleared and safe again. For municipalities you must write a letter due to what’s called a prior written notice stature. Here’s an example of a case in Owego, NY regarding a prior written notice with a municipality. You write a letter stating ‘this section of sidewalk is unsafe, it’s broken up, uneven’, etc. But with snow, that’s nature’s element so it’s incredibly difficult obviously to do that – impossible really. I get calls all the time – and snow and ice are tough. Because the municipalities have that stature in place, snow and ice can’t usually apply. So I have to tell most people it’s a bad deal and we’re sorry but based on the law, there’s nothing that can be done.

Private Owners

Private owners are required to keep their sidewalks reasonably safe. And like with the municipalities, if there’s a storm, they’re allowed some time to allow the storm to pass first. Because it’s most likely to be you and your family who would fall because of multiple use, then of course you want to keep your walkways clear, salted, safe.

Be careful out there. We love to live in our part of the world, but sometimes Mother Nature can be brutal. Don’t be looking at your cell phone and not looking where you’re walking. Walk slowly. Wear the right kind of footwear for this time of year and conditions. Take extra precaution. Do the same for your own sidewalks at your home – keep them clear and safe. Slip and falls can cause incredible damage to you, even death. As I always say and reinforce with my team here at Stanley Law and all of our personal injury clients, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Stanley Law Offices is a personal injury law firm with offices in Syracuse, Watertown, Binghamton, Rochester, and Montrose, PA. If you’re seriously injured, whether a slip and fall accident or car crash, construction accident, hurt at work, don’t go it alone. Phone. 1-800-608-3333. I can also be reached directly at