As is common for this time of year, temperatures in New York are dropping, and many areas have already experienced overnight frost or light snowfall. Inclement weather often increases the likelihood of hazardous conditions in a parking lot or business entryway. Each year, hospital emergency rooms are kept busy with people who have slipped or fallen on icy parking lots, sidewalks or wet floors inside of business entrances.
Fluctuating temperatures cause unexpected changes in the weather
A person might arrive at work, a shopping mall or other business location when the air is crisp and cool, but the sky is sunny and bright. If temperatures unexpectedly drop while someone is indoors, it could be raining or, worse yet, sleeting or snowing by the time he or she exits the building to return home. Most business owners prepare for such conditions by hiring licensed snow removal contractors to make sure the main travel areas of sidewalks and parking lots are clear of ice, slush and snow.
Injuries often occur on wet, snowy or icy pathways
Especially if the lighting in a parking lot is inadequate, someone who steps outside after work (when it is already starting to get dark) might not see patches of ice that have formed where snow has fallen, melted and frozen again. Also, if an employer or business owner does not take precautions indoors, such as placing floor mats by entrances to absorb wetness, a person trying to exit a building might never even make it to the parking lot if he or she takes a fall on a slippery floor by the exit. In addition to use of proper floor mats, an employer or business owner can install handrails, as well as increase lighting and regularly inspect parking lots and sidewalks, to improve safety conditions during winter.
Who is liable for injuries that occur on a business premises?
Falling on a wet floor or icy parking lot can result in severe injuries, including sprains and contusions, broken bones, and neck, back or brain injuries (if a person’s head hits a hard surface when he or she falls). A person who suffers injury because of a New York property owner’s negligence may seek financial recovery for his or her losses by filing a personal injury claim. It is helpful for anyone considering filing such a claim to meet with an experienced personal injury law attorney before heading to court.