When is a Property Owner Responsible for Clearing Away Snow in New York?


In early February of 2021, New York and many nearby states were hit by a massive snowstorm. Streets and rural areas alike were blanketed with a thick layer of snow, and Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly declared a state of emergency. He rightly stated that a snowstorm of this magnitude can be life-threatening, and the potential hazards can come from many different sources.


Along with “blinding snow” and the sheer coldness of the storm, New Yorkers also face significant hazards when walking down sidewalks. If snow is not cleared away, innocent pedestrians face the risk of slipping and falling. A slip and fall on an icy sidewalk can result in serious injuries, including fractures and brain damage.


In the face of this storm, New York’s city crews quickly got to work. Snow plows were out very early, coating roads in a layer of salt brine. After the snow fell, the city also helped clear away snow from a range of different areas. However, there are some areas that fall under the responsibility of property owners, and not the city. When is a property owner responsible for clearing away snow in New York, and when are they liable for injuries?


New York’s Rules for Snow and Ice Removal


New York has very clear rules when it comes to snow and ice removal. Property owners must pay close attention to these rules in order to ensure the safety of innocent pedestrians.


  • If the snow stops falling during daylight hours (between 7 AM and 5 PM), property owners are legally obliged to clear away snow within four hours

  • If the snow stops falling in the night (between 5 PM and 7 AM), property owners have until 11 AM the next morning to clear away the snow


When is a Property Owner Liable for Injuries?


Proving liability is one of the major challenges associated with a personal injury claim or lawsuit, and this is why it’s so important to work with a qualified, experienced personal injury lawyer. Here are a few factors that may convince the court of a property owner’s negligence:


  • The property owner was aware of unsafe conditions on their premises but made no effort to clear away the snow, slush, or ice

  • The property owner actively caused the unsafe condition (perhaps they spilled water onto their sidewalk or staircase, and the water froze)

  • The property owner should have known about the unsafe conditions, and they failed to address the situation as a result (perhaps they failed to keep track of the weather forecast)


Enlist the Help of a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in New York


If you have suffered injuries after a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk, you need to find an experienced, qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you have been searching for a legal expert in New York who can help you with this matter, look no further than The Glassman Law Group. We have been helping injury victims in New York for many years, and we can help you receive fair, adequate compensation for your injuries.