Can You Be Sued if Someone Slips and Falls on Your Property?

December 1, 2023 | Christina M. Bezas | General Liability

The holiday season is one of the most magical times of year in New York, filled with excitement and festive decorations. It is also one of the busiest, from holiday gatherings with friends and family to decorating and checking off the holiday shopping list. For many, the days of holiday shopping in bustling stores have been replaced largely with shopping online at e-commerce websites. With frequent holiday gatherings and increased online shopping deliveries, it is important for Lloyd Harbor residents to responsibly maintain their properties during the winter months when inclement weather can make walking hazardous.

You may not know this, but homeowners can be sued if someone (e.g. a neighbor, mail carrier, friend, delivery driver, or even a family member) slips and falls on their property. If a homeowner is found liable for the injuries sustained in a slip-and-fall accident on their property, they could be subject to monetary damages.

Ice, slush and snow can create slippery conditions on sidewalks, driveways, walkways and stairs that can result in slip-and-fall accidents. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their properties in a reasonably safe condition. Depending on the circumstances, a homeowner who fails to maintain their property safely may be responsible for injuries sustained when the homeowner created, was aware and/or should have known of a dangerous condition within a reasonable time period to remedy it before the accident or injury took place.

As a homeowner, it is always wise to take precautions in an effort to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents on your property during the holiday season and winter months. It is important for homeowners to, among other  things:

  1. promptly shovel snow and slush from their sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and stairs to prevent slippery conditions;
  2. salt and/or sand their property in an effort to reduce ice from building up and possibly causing someone to slip and fall; and
  3. ensure that their sidewalks, driveways, walkways, and stairs are well-lit to help others see potentially slippery or hazardous conditions on their property.

Homeowners could also consider alerting others to any potential slippery conditions, such as recently cleared walkways, by using cones or signs.

This article appeared in the December 2023 issue of Stroll Lloyd Harbor.

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