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You’re walking to your car following the Northeaster that dumped 6 inches of snow here
in New York and that’s only 11 days after Hurricane Sandy blasted through here, destroying
and uprooting many of our lives. And you want to know can you sue the property owner as
a result of falling and injuring yourself during the course of the snow storm. Would
you like to learn the answer? Come join me as I share with you that answer. Hi. I’m
Gerry Oginski. I’m a New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial attorney practicing
law here in the state of New York. The answer is the property owner may be responsible for
your injuries. We have to look to see what efforts they made to clear that parking lot
of snow during the course of the snow storm. We have to look to see whether they put down
salt or sand as a result after they plowed. We have to find out what the accumulation
of snow was like after the time they were clearing it. And importantly, what was the
temperature like overnight? Because what typically will happen is once they clear the parking
lot, many times the temperature during the day will go up cause a lot of snow to melt.
And if that snow has been piled up into different corners it will start to melt and flow down
toward a drain. Now what happens after that is at night the temperatures drop. And as
a result of that, that layer of water that’s going down toward the drain will ice over.
And oftentimes that becomes something called “black ice.” And black ice means that
you can’t clearly see that layer of ice. All you can see is the asphalt underneath.
So you’re walking towards your car. You think there is normal asphalt but what there
really is there’s a layer, a thin layer, of ice right above that. And not seeing that,
not being able to recognize that, you slip and fall and suffer significant injury. So
the key question is always, did the property owner know that there was a dangerous condition?
And if they did, what efforts did they make to clear that property of snow and ice? And
if there was a continued accumulation of snow and ice, what did they do after they cleared
that path? So there’s two things in law, one is called “actual notice” the other
is called “constructive notice.” Actual notice means that a property owner knew of
a dangerous condition and failed to take steps to clear that dangerous condition. The other
is called constructive notice and that basically means the property owner should have known
that there was a dangerous condition and again should have taken steps to create that condition.
So to answer your question as to whether the property owner of that parking lot is responsible
for your particular injuries, we have to look at many different factors to give you a definite
answer as to whether they are or are not responsible. So why do I share this information with you
here on a beautiful day in New York, a day following a Northeaster? I share it with you
just to give you an insight and an understanding into what goes on in evaluating this type
of lawsuit. Chances are you slipped and fell in the parking lot and now you have legal
questions. Well, what I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me. My phones
are working here in the office and I welcome your call. You can reach me at 516-487-8207
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Gerry Oginski, here in New York. Stay warm.